Working on my '15 runabout, and sorted headlamp buckets. From the Auburn Swap Meet a week ago, I picked up another bucket. Added to the ones I already had, I now have two pair of matching early style electric headlamps. Both pair have the adjustment screw above the plug/socket. One pair (the rougher ones), has the plug/socket on the center back of the bucket, no apparent name or model stamping for the manufacturer, as some of the early electric headlamps do. The back of the buckets on this pair are rounded all the way to the socket mounting. They have no flat area around the socket like the millions of later headlamps have, not even a hint of flatness there.
The other pair, also has the adjusting screw above the plug/socket, and a slightly flattened area around the socket mount. That flattened area is less flat than most of the later headlamps. Surrounding the socket, is a circular stamping which says " J W B M CO COLO USA MODEL 520 PAT APRIL 14 1914". So, one question is who is J W B M company? Are they related to the John Brown Lamp Company that supplied Ford with lamps for many years? As far as I know, John Brown was located in Ohio, a fair distance from Colorado.
The other main question is, which pair would be most appropriate for a March '15 T? The slightly flatted and name stamped? Or the no name and fully rounded back?
Just my opinion, but I think either would be period correct, as a pair of the same brand. I don’t have any solid evidence to prove it but I think you are correct regarding John Brown. The rims for 1915 often say Ford Brown on the edge.
I have no proof on this statement either, but my understanding that the very first 1915’s had a slightly larger diameter rim.
Larry, I don’t have any solid facts either, but most of the cars I have seen original era photos of showing the larger rim headlamps, were either the early center-door sedans or early couplettes. Those two body styles began production and sales late in calendar '14 (roughly September or October). The open car runabouts and touring cars were delayed for several months due to difficulties in stamping the new style body sides and cowls. If I recall correctly, other than a couple prototypes, or hand-built pre-production cars, the first few runabouts and maybe one touring car were produced in December of 1914. January '15 saw more runabouts and a significant few touring cars. I have in the past read actual production figures for the '15 style open cars for December, January, and February posted by Royce. However, I lost my bookmarks due to a partial computer meltdown awhile back, so I can’t find them now. Production continued to improve, but didn’t approach normal levels of the new style until about March of 1915.
I have seen a few (very few!) era photos of touring cars or runabouts with one of several variations of oil side and/or tail lamps. I know there were several variations, but can only guess what the actual count could be? Earlier ones had smaller glass, with wider bezel/rims. A couple changes, and the rims and glass became closer to what we know for most of '15 on through the open non-starter package cars of the '20s. The other obvious difference for the early variations was the oil bowl looks much more like the ones on the '13s and '14s. While similar in appearance, the fit is NOT the same.
I have one such tail-lamp. While at a glance, the rest of it looks similar to the common lamps we know and love, every part of it is quite different from the later ones. It is interesting to compare the parts side by side.
Apparently, some of those early style oil side and tail lamps found their way onto some early production open cars. I may decide to use my tail lamp on my runabout. Since it is a February dated body, it is fairly early.