Category: Patent

Why didn’t Henry Ford follow through on his 1935 patent for an overhead-camshaft engine? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

Up until the last few decades, overhead-camshaft engines were generally reserved for luxury or high-performance vehicles; pushrods or sidevalves would have to do for the hoi polloi. Yet it appears that at one point in the Thirties, Henry Ford decided it would not only be possible to mass-produce an overhead-camshaft engine, but also make it simple to service and affordable to the general public.

Granted, it’s easy to read too much into Henry Ford’s patent filings from yesteryear, as many of you have pointed out. Ford had the resources to patent just about every idea that came his way, and a lot of ideas came his way via aspiring inventors all over the world hoping Henry would give them their big break. Nor did he see patents merely as patents; rather, he used them as smokescreens for his competition and diversions for his critics, all of whom watched his every step.

But the overhead-camshaft internal combustion engine patent that Ford filed in November 1932 (1993992A) appears a little more straightforward. By this time, of course, overhead-camshaft engines were widely known. Gas Engine Magazine tracked down the earliest OHC patent to 1892, and plenty of automakers – from Marr to Peugeot to Isotta Fraschini to Duesenberg to Stutz – had produced or were about to produce OHC engines by the time Ford filed his patent

Read on

Ford Once Took A Patent On A Car With The Craziest And Least-Used Car Layout Ever – Jason Torchinsky @Gizmodo


I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to pester Ford’s archive department for interesting bits of weirdness that may be lurking in their voluminous stacks of records. One of the things I asked the dedicated archivists to look out for would be any rear-engined Ford experiments, and they came up with something really interesting and strange for me to share with all of you, fellow lovers of strange things. Even better, this one has some pretty unexpected Volkswagen Beetle overtones, too, but with a much, much weirder layout.

Of the big three American automakers, Ford may have shown the least interest in rear-engine designs. GM had their Corvairs, Chrysler had all those Simcas they made overseas, but Ford didn’t really mess with back porch engines, even in their European divisions.

But that doesn’t mean they didn’t do some interesting experiments! In the 1930s, streamlined, rear-engine designs were something like electric cars are today—the general consensus was that rear-engined streamliners represented the future, somehow, and lots of people and companies were developing them, or at least experimenting, Ford included.

Read on


Henry Ford Random Patents #4 – US 2269451 A Automobile body construction (Henry’s Plastic Car)


Henry’s Plastic Car


Henry applied for and was granted US Patent 2269451 A

This is an excerpt, including the spelling!

Provide an automobile body construction of improved’ construction. 1 v

More specifically, the object of my invention is to provide a body construction in which plastic body panels-are employed, .not only for the doors and side panels, but also for the roof, hood and all other ‘exposed panels on the body.

Plastic parts have many advantages in that they produce a quiet body, may be molded to exact sizes, may be formed economically from soy bean oil, may be readily replaced in case of accident, and result in a lighter construction.

However, there are also many disadvantages to g all such constructions in the past because the panels are not able structurally to resist the stresses to which such panels are exposed in the conventional body. In the present all-steel body the “panels are depended upon almost entirely to resist the many stresses set up in the body.

An object of this invention is, therefore, to

provide a body frame structure which will resist all normally encountered stresses independently of the body panels.

The full patent detail can be found here

It’s believed the war overtook things and the idea was never pursued.

There is also an interesting article on Henry’s plastic car by Ben Judge that can be found  here at Money Week



Henry Ford Random Patents #1 – Patent US1723026 METHOD OF MAKING SPARK PLUGS




I thought I’d take a random look through the various patents registered by Henry Ford.

The first one is method of making spark plugs filed October 5th 1927.

“The object of’my’ invention’is toprovide a spark plug of simple, durable, and inexpensive construction.”

Henry Ford Patent US1723026 A Method of making spark plugs

Click below for the full patent description

Patent number US1723026