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America on the Move
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This object appears in the following sections:

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — Fixing Cars


Ford Model T roadster

Model T toolbox
Catalog #: 330,155, Accession #: 288,681
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Sensible owners carried tools with them wherever they went. One of the Ford Model T's “selling points” was that is was easy to fix.
Physical Description
artifact. 20" W x 10" H x 9" D; black sheet metal
Date Made:
about 1915
Gift of Mrs. E. C. Purdy

Every driver learned to change and repair tires, which blew out frequently. Many owners also performed minor repairs for pleasure, convenience, and savings. Some got their skills from dealing with farm machinery. Others learned from repair manuals. The simplicity of the Ford Model T especially endeared it to millions of owners, many of whom claimed to fix their cars with twine, baling wire, or clothespins. Usually a screwdriver, wrench, hammer, and pliers were all the tools they needed.

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