English Dialects | German Dialects | Links | Searchable Database | Home


The speaker is a 64-year-old White man with an unknown education from Woodstock, Vermont; he was recorded in 1969.



County: Windsor
State: VT

Commentary:
Although its settlement was slowed by the Revolutionary War, Woodstock grew rapidly after the conflict ended in 1783. Mills and factories boosted the town???s economy, and the completion of the Woodstock Railroad in 1875 brought freight and tourists to the area. Woodstock???s economy is still driven by tourism today, and it remains a popular location for wealthy New Englanders??? seasonal second homes. In this segment the speaker reminisces about driving a Model T Ford.
FW: What did you drive, when you handled the mail?

Inf: Well, back in those days, we young fellows mostly drove Model T Ford cars.

FW: Uh-huh. What was that like? I???ve never, like, may have seen???

Inf: A Model T Ford? [FW: Yeah.] Well, they were very simply constructed and very, well, they could be mah-, balkier than a mule [FW: Uh-huh]. Oh, yes, no shinolas, anything that you could think of. And, usually, to, to get ???em started on a cold morning, you???d, uh, jack up a hind wheel, have so it???d clear the ground, and put your, put your gears into high gear. And then take the crank and wind the thing as though you were winding it for eight days. And if the thing took the notion that it wanted to start, after about a half an hour of hard cranking, it???d begin to fire, and when it got warmed up, it???d run all right. They were the meanest car that was ever made, and the best one.

FW: What was the point of jacking up the back wheel?

Inf: Well, because they had what they called a planetary transmission [FW: Uh-huh], which was the forerunner of the automatic transmissions that we have today. And, uh, on your Ford car, you had three pedals, foot pedals [FW: Uh-huh]. One of ???em was your high and your low speed. You had two speeds, low and high. You push your clutch pedal clear in, as far as it???d go. That was your low speed. And then you let the thing back, that brought it back into your high speed. Well, halfway between those two points was your neutral. And your, your middle pedal [FW: Mm-hmm] was your reverse gear. So if you wanted to back up, you???d step on your clutch pedal, push it in halfway, and then step on your reverse pedal [FW: Mm-hmm], and, uh, back your car up. And the other, third pedal, was your foot brake.

Back to US English Map
back to American Languages home