As March begins, it is time to check with our friends in congress to see what is next on the numismatic agenda. Using Thomas, the legislative service of the Library of Congress, I found that Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow (D), co-sponsored by Senator Carl Levin (D), introduced S.587, Model T Ford Automobile Commemorative Coin Act, to commemorate “the Model T Ford Automobile and the 100th anniversary of the Highland Park Plant, Michigan, the birthplace of the assembly line.”

The impact of the assembly line that Henry Ford developed to manufacture the Model T in 1910 is considered a hallmark in the growth of industry in the United States. It made the Model T more affordable to more people and turning the United States into a culture built around he automobile. By 1918, half of the cars sold were the Ford Model T.

Ford did not stop with the assembly line. Ford paid the assembly line workers $5 per day, a significant mount in the early 20th century, understanding that by paying more it will make his workers consumers.

S.587 calls for the minting of 500,000 commemorative coins made from 90-percent silver, weigh 26.73 grams, and have a diameter of 1.5 inches (38 mm). The design is supposed to “be emblematic of the Model T Ford and the assembly line.”

If passed, this commemorative will be sold in 2010. Sales of these coins will include a $10 surcharge that will be shared with the Automobile National Heritage Area Partnership Inc. to create an educational endowment and The Edison Institute.

The bill was introduced on February 14, 2007 and has been referred to Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

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