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FORD IGNITION COIL OR VIBRATOR COIL (BUZZ COIL), 1920's

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FORD IGNITION COIL OR VIBRATOR COIL (BUZZ COIL), 1920's

Henry Ford was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies, as well as being one to survive the Great Depression.
These coils used on the model 'T' were possibly made by a sub contractor to Fords the K-W Ignition Company 32 Power Avenue Cleveland Ohio, or the Kokomo Electric co, this particular version was made between 1917 and 1919 and cost $1.29 1n the 1920's. One coil per cylinder was needed, the timing achieved by a contacts on the cam shaft, later one master coil with vibrator and three additional slave coils were used. The connections on the side are studs so that the unit can be slide into a box with spring connections, and are marked (top) 'B' Battery 'S' Spark, and on the end 'T' for Timing. All coils were powered by 6 volts, from a dry battery as chargeable types were not yet commercially available, or by a Magneto Generator, also made by K-W among others. The coil design dates back to 1902 when Ed Huff assisted Ford with his ignition problems used on earlier vehicles.

Bruce Hammond Collection

Your comments:

  • My dad gave me one of these back in the 1950s and I used it to make sparks and "shock" my school friends using my 12 volt DC toy train transformer to power it. It was originally from my grandad's Model T which they used as a grocery delivery truck in Wales in 1921. Dad told me it was a trembler coil and delivered 18000 Volts.
    .......... Chris Bevan, Penn Bucks UK, 17th of October 2015

  • I recently picked up one of these coils at an antique store for $11.00. I had no idea what it was but I liked the look and feel of it. As I was paying for it an older fellow asked me if I knew what it was I was holding in my hand. I said I didn't and he told me what it was. If not for him, I probably still wouldn't know what I bought.
    .......... Larry Ruggiero, Erie, PA, 15th of August 2014

  • I have a similar item manufactured by C A Vandervell (before it became a limited company) with a stamping on it it carrying a Patent No. that refers to a different item dated 1907.
    .......... Ian Coulson, Edenbridge, Kent, 9th of December 2010

  • I have a pair of these 'trembler' coils as my father called them. Unlike the more modern ignition coil, these didn't produce a single spark when the low voltage contact breaker opened, but produced a continuous stream of sparks when the contacts closed. This was produced by the electric bell type make-and-break contacts on the top of the coil. Each spark plug had its own coil.
    .......... David Mills, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, North Wales, UK, 28th of November 2009

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A1283



2007 The Museum of Technology, The Great War and WWII
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