Creating this website has been like playing the classic “Whack a Mole” game. Everywhere I turn there is another mole to whack. And all self-induced. The picture of Uncle Charlie in his new Model T is a great picture. Sharp and clear, with great composition. The lake in the background forces the viewer to focus on the car and occupants. The occupants are the primary interest of this history project, but what about the car? A rough date for the picture is best estimated by John Harold Peterson seated in the back. He was born in 1911 and appears to be about 5 years of age or so in the picture. On the back of the picture Charlie wrote, “This is my new car, the people with me in it is my partner and family. Mr. Peterson is his name.” Was this a brand new car or “new” to Charlie? Some dings and dents can be seen.
The car is definitely a Ford Model T. A Touring model, because it had the soft top. I developed a year of manufacture by the following process of elimination. The car has electric front lights, which first came out in 1915. The front fenders were of a design from the 1914-1916 period, and saw a substantial change in 1917. I was left with 1915 or 1916. The only difference I could find between those two model years (that would be apparent in a picture) was the 1915 had a brass front bezel ring on the front lights. In the 1916 model the ring was painted. On close scrutiny, with the picture magnified, the light bezels on Charlie’s Model T appear to be brass. Far from definitive, however. I would welcome comments from anyone with more information.