This Day in History: The Revolutionary Model T Hits the Shelves (10/1/21)

A.J. Hargett, Feature-Writer

On this day in 1908 the first order for a Ford Model T was shipped to it’s first customer marking the introduction of the Model T to the American market. The Model T is often referred to as the first widely affordable car costing between $260 and $825 which accounting for inflation would today cost between $7,731 and  $25,275. The Model T is also considered the most influential vehicle of the 20th century not only because of its price but also the period of ingenuity that it created. In total the Model T sold 15 million units which was the most sold car until the introduction of the Volkswagen Beetle in 1972.


Although automobiles had been produced since the 1880’s they were often scarce, unreliable, and expensive. The Model T changed this on it’s introduction where after the first few days after it’s release 15,000 orders were placed. The name Model T refers to the naming mechanism the Ford company gave there models starting with the first car the Model A. This pattern would be abruptly ended as the next car in the series after the Model T was the Model A. This was because the Ford company insisted that the new model was so different from the previous and that the process should be started over again.


The Model T was the first automobile to be mass produced on a moving assembly line which was the first of it’s kind to do that. The Model also was the first automobile to be made with interchangeable parts making the production of these vehicles faster and more efficient. The Model T was originally designed by Childe Harold Wills who was one Ford Company’s first employee and one of Ford’s earliest associates. 


The introduction of the Model T led to a massive increase in the use of Automobiles as it was more affordable than its counterparts and more people could buy them. The Model T was also revolutionary in the way that it was manufactured, due to its streamlined production the car was fast and relatively cheap to produce. The moving assembly line and the interchangeable parts made a huge impact on the way automotives in the future would be produced as other companies adopted these techniques and applied them to their own practices. The Model T is considered to be the most influential car of the 20th century but all of it’s groundbreaking qualities could also have it be considered the most influential car of all time, but it was on this day in 1908 that the Model T was first put to the market.