My grandmother used to write stories at home on her type writer for fun. Since she’s passed, those stories have become more of an impact on me than I would have ever thought. I sat at work with a stack of them to read in my free time, and it was interesting to talk about with co-workers as she shared with me through her writing her time growing up on a farm in the 1920’s with an outhouse, no heat or air conditioning, no electricity, no refrigerator, and her memories of getting their first vehicle, the Ford Model “T”. This is what she had to say about it: Our car was a Model "T" Ford, invented by Henry Ford in 1915. Our was secondhand, of course, and I remember it when I was possibly three or four years old by estimating my age on an old photograph of our family. New cars only cost around $500 so if ours was secondhand, imagine what it cost! It was black, as all the cars where black in color then. It was considered a touring car. The only protection from the weather was the windshield unless the curtains were installed. There was a windshield wiper on the driver's side that was operated manually with a crank about the windshield.
A crank was used to start the engine which had to be choked to get the gasoline flowing.A wire-like thing with a ring on the end was near when the cranking was going on.The gas tank was under the front seat so everyone had to vacate to get gas into the car.Tools and curtains were stored under the back seat.Seats were made of black leather, so hard and cold on an evening when we were going home from our grands across the creek.I think it would have been a good idea for mom to have supplied some kind of cover for us… boys wore overalls, but girls didn’t.
The curtains were black and taken off in the summer and the windows were izing glass, called plastic now.It was rather brittle and eventually turned yellowish.I think the tires were solid rubber, which made a pretty bumpy ride on roads.We had roads that went by the contour of the land and I remember of us telling our dad to go over the bumps fast to get a thrill.
The radiator was filled with water and had to be filled each time we went out. In cold weather, the radiator was drained from the bottom of the car.I remember my dad warming irons in the oven of the coal stove in the kitchen to place them on the motor to get it heated up before he tried to start the engine.Later on, we graduated from rubber tires to tube tires.Ours came from either Sears or Montgomery Ward, and they were stored under our kitchen table.
It’s amazing to think what our generation has already gone through that our children will not know about… VHS tapes, cassette tapes, life without a GPS or cell phone, home phones, CDs, taking your film to get developed…It’ll be exciting to see what will happen when our generation is the grandparents!