Filed Under Industry

Ford Model T Plant

Ford produced over 15 million Model T cars, making it the most widely sold car in history. Although most were made in Highland Park Michigan, over 100,000 Model Ts were produced in Cleveland. The Ford Motor Company established a sales and service office on Euclid Avenue in 1906. In 1911, it moved its Cleveland operations to a facility at East 72nd Street and St. Clair Avenue. And, in 1914, an assembly plant, located at 11610 Euclid Avenue, took parts made in Michigan and assembled Model Ts.

The Euclid Avenue assembly plant included a showroom and sales office on the first floor, facing onto Euclid Avenue. The second, the third, and fourth floors served as the assembly area. The plant was offered to the War Department during WWI and served as a storage depot for war material through 1918. By the next year the plant was again producing Model Ts.

In 1923, Ford updated the Cleveland plant to the "improved moving assembly" process, which was already being used in their Highland Park plant. The plant achieved its peak production in 1925, producing 225 vehicles per day while employing 1,600 people. The last Model T rolled off the line on May 31, 1927. Later that year the factory was retooled to produce the new Ford Model A.

In 1932, Ford began producing the Model B, but because of a large drop in sales and large company wide losses, Ford closed its Cleveland branch plant in December 1932. The building continued to serve as a Ford sales office until the beginning of World War II, at which point the company gave the factory to the federal government. The building was sold after the war and used as a warehouse. It has also been used as office space, artists' studios, and a public storage site. It is currently being used by the Cleveland Institute of Art as a studio and classroom space.

Images

Exterior, ca. 1915 This photo is the east façade of the Cleveland Ford assembly plant on Euclid Avenue. The first floor of the building was used as the showroom while the upper floors were used for the assembly of the vehicles. This plant was one of the first multi-story reinforced concrete auto plants in Cleveland. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
Interior This is the interior of one of the upper floors of the Ford Model T plant in Cleveland. The plant followed the format of Ford's Highland Park plant. The upper floor was for storage, the middle floors were used for painting and trim, and the bottom floors (minus the ground floor, which was used as a sales office) made up the space where the actual vehicle assembly took place. This photograph was taken after WW II, by which time Ford had moved out of the building. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
Model T Ad, 1924 This is a Ladies Home Journal advertisment of the Ford Model T from 1924. The Model T was described as a car that anyone could drive. This advertisment was an attempt to show women how the Model T could be used to complete their daily errands. The ad also indicates the low cost and reliablity of the Model T. Image Courtesy of the Western Reserve Historical Society
Model A Ad, 1931 This is a Ladies Home Journal advertisment for the Ford Model A from 1931. This ad is aimed at the "busy mom." After the last Model T rolled off the assembly in 1927, the Cleveland Ford plant retooled to produce the Model A. Image Courtesy of the Western Reseve Historical Society

Location

11610 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106

Metadata

“Ford Model T Plant,” Cleveland Historical, accessed January 16, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/269.