Ronnie’s Motoring Trivia – Why Tin Lizzie?

This month’s little gem of wisdom concerns the Ford Model T.

I had always thought the nickname “Tin Lizzie” was a friendly term of familiarity but this was not the case.

The American public, particularly the farming communities, embraced the “T” enthusiastically and found uses for it that Henry had never dreamed of.

Farmers found ways to install a power take off and used it as a stationary engine to power threshing machines and saw benches.

A “ T” with a passenger load of pigs going to market was not unusual.  The uses it could be put to was limited only by the imagination of the buying public.

Wealthy families, particularly in the southern states, often had a lowly female servant who was allocated all the menial and unpleasant tasks.

In earlier times this servant would have been a Negro slave.

These individuals were invariably called “Lizzie” regardless of their actual name.

As the T was often used for the menial tasks it became known as a “Tin” Lizzie.



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