1998 32¢ Model T Ford
Celebrate the Century – 1900s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 ½
In the early years of the 20th century, automobiles were assembled individually as luxury playthings for the rich. Henry Ford decided to manufacture a simple, dependable car the common man could afford. Ford called his car the Model T, but it was soon nicknamed the “Tin Lizzie.”
To build his automobile, Ford created a new method of construction called the assembly line. Factory workers were given one task to perform, instead of many, and cars could be made more quickly and less expensively.
In 1908 the price of a Model T was $850. By 1915, Ford was building half a million cars annually, and the price had fallen to $290. The price dropped another $30 by 1925. Ford said, “Each time I lower the price by one dollar I sell another thousand cars.” Between 1908 and 1927, over 15 million Model T’s were sold.
The Model T was a triumph of standardization. “Customers can have it painted any color they want so long as it’s black,” Ford said. The first Model T had 5,000 interchangeable parts, which Ford envisioned being available at repair shops to be built all across the nation. And the shops were built, along with roads, gas stations, and parking lots. Henry Ford and his Model T truly changed the way Americans lived.