[Tidbits] Tin Lizzie

How can I talk about cars–you may well ask–when this ezine is
supposed to be about jewelry? Yes. Well. Life is filled with
imponderables. so be not shocked oh great readers of mine when you
are confronted with yet another one. Which brings us to the
question-du-jour. By a show of hands. would you rather I first speak
of the creator of the car. or would you rather I first speak of the
creator of the rhinestone Tin Lizzie?

Ah. The creator of the car first, you say. Okay. Good choice.
Majority vote wins. For those of you who might object to this
decision. I assure you it was not mine. Nay nay. It was put to a
vote. all fair and square. I shall commence.

The is immense. I shall pare it all down to bare
essentials. I assume you all know that the Tin Lizzie was the
nickname for the Model T Ford. Oh what a car it was. heralding its
public birth on October 1, 1908 and still lingering on today for
collectors. 16.5 million sold as of 2012. Anybody ever sell jewelry
in those numbers? I suppose if you could drive a diamond ring…

Actually–oh I know this is going to be disappointing–but it was not
Ford who invented assembly line production… though he did perfect
it. It was developed by Ransom E. Olds. the inventor of the
Oldsmobile. Just a little side tidbit for you all.

The Model T is also credited for being one of the early cars to use
electic lamps as headlights instead of the then standard oil or
acetylene lamps. Of course the car had a few hazards and glitches.
For example. it’s a cold wintry day and its time to hand crank the
car to get it started. Only problem is. drive band adjustments are
off due to the cold. and the car begins to creep forward as the
cranker cranks. and watch out kiddo lest you get flattened by a
runaway Lizzie.

Which brings us to the color of the Model T. It is here that old
Henry Ford was at his most eloquent. “Any customer can have a car
painted any color he wants”, the old man said. “So long as it is
black”. Terseness at its finest… wouldn’t you say?

Perhaps this would be a good spot to segue to the designer of the pin
you are about to see. and then get back to Henry Ford. A little
variety is always the spice that makes the soup so tasty. So…

The Tin Lizzie. also spelled The Tinlizzy. is a rhinestone costume
jewelry pin designed by one Charles H. Stuart who founded a company
called Emmons Home Fashions which was named after his wife Caroline
Emmons and which later became Emmons Jewelry Inc. The pin is probably
marked “Emmons” with perhaps a copyright symbol above it. His jewelry
is fairly uncommon and is considered quite collectible. And that’s
pretty much it for Emmons and his rhinestone Model T.

Well. I did it again. Scant info on the chap that made a most
interesting and quite pretty piece of jewelry about a famous old car
that is still in existence today in vintage form among its admiring

Which brings us back to H. F. himself. The Tin Lizzie (my preferred
spelling) was made during a time when motorized mechanization and
power sources were rare in rural communities. And so Lizzie was made
with versatility in mind. When she wasn’t a car. Henry Ford designed
her so that she could be converted to a tractor. Or a portable engine.
He ensured it would be an all-terrain vehicle–ATV in today’s
lingo–as pavement was at that time only relegated to sidewalks. In
October, 1922, a magazine showcased a minister who had transformed
his Model T into a mobile church complete with organ. Hey. If you
can’t drive it. play it. Lizzie’s uses were endless.

Two little last bits which I am not able to leave out. One: In 1909
the Model T Runabout cost $825.00. And two: In Aldous Huxley’s “Brave
New World” Henry ford is depicted as a messianic figure and the
calendar of the day is converted to A. F. (After Ford).

There’s more. There’s scads more. Alas. not when it comes to room.
But one more thing first. I placed a picture of an original Touring
1911 Tin Lizzie next to the Tinlizzy pin for comparison purposes. I
skewed it a tad to make it fit … for your enjoyment. and to bring
the resemblance to a closer match. So. you ready?

You know the rest. The visit to the image. also known as the viewing
experience. You know where. Home page. http://www.tyler-adam.com.
Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits. Click. And there for your sensory
optic pleasure you will see a rhinestone Tin Lizzie pin and its
accompanying Touring 1911 Model T. So let’s hear it for old Lizzie.
Hip hip…

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark