The year was 1917.

The world was in a state of unrest. Sir Robert Laird Borden was Prime Minister and Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada. The National Hockey League was born. The Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge became a defining moment for the country. Women were one short year away from being given the vote in Canada. The average annual wage was $729. A loaf of bread costs just nine cents.

1920 Ford Model TT Panel Delivery Truck

1920 Ford Model TT

And the average car cost $360.

If you had $325 in your pocket on July 2 of that year, you may have been at the front of the line to purchase Ford’s first truck powered by the Model T engine. This one-ton-rated Ford Model TT chassis was the first built expressly for bigger jobs, complete with a stronger, beefier frame, steel radiator, worm-gear differential and solid rubber rear tires.

In the early production years, the Model TT came only as a chassis with cab, including firewall, front fenders and a hood. Cargo bodies were installed by owners or dealers, and were either homemade or provided by suppliers for the Ford aftermarket. It was recommended that, with standard gearing in place, speeds not exceed 24 kilometers per hour.

It was 1917, the Model TT was a strong seller from Day 1, and Ford was setting the pace for advances in car technology.

The Present

Now, flash forward 96 years.

The world is still in a state of unrest, but is more connected than ever before. Stephen Harper holds his seat as Prime Minister. The NHL is fast approaching its 100th anniversary. The first 3-D bioprinter, bullet proof gel, firefighting robots and augmented reality glasses have all been invented. The average family income in Canada is $76,000. A loaf of bread costs $2.50. And the average car costs $26,755.

One thing remains the same: Ford continues to be a leader in advancing automotive technology.

Ford dedication to advancements in the automotive industry spans the decades: from the innovative thinking behind the Model TT to the futuristic design of the concept Atlas truck.

Like its great grandfather, the Atlas was designed to meet the everyday needs of customers. Innovation is still king when it comes to design and drivability, but like the comparative cost of bread, everyday needs of customers have shifted. And Ford continues to exceed expectations.

Boasting a 360-degree point-of-view camera, a trailer backup assist, hidden cargo ramps, USB ports for mobile devices, Wi-Fi hotspot capability and the next-generation EcoBoost powertrain, the Atlas is an overachiever sure to make any ancestor proud.

If given the chance, it’s curious to think what the Model Ford TT might think of its great grandson!