The pics below show some of the differences in Model A passenger car transmission gear shift levers.
There are two styles of shift levers, one for 1928-1929 and one for 1930-1931. Both shifters are nickel plated with a butler finish.
The difference between the two levers is in the angle of the bend.
The pivot ball cap on the lever was originally cadmium plated, or in some cases left unfinished plain steel.
The pic above shows the differences in the angles of the various gear shift levers. The 1928-29 levers have a 15 degree bend, while the 1930-31 levers have a 20 degree bend.
The lever on the top is a 1930-1931 shift lever, which has a bigger angle bend in it to move the gear shift knob down farther away from the dash and cowl (which is lower compared to a 1928-29 Model A).
The three lower levers are all 1928-1929 transmission gear shift levers, and are straighter and more upright compared to the 1930-31 levers.
If a 1928-29 gear shift lever is installed in a 1930-31 car, the gear shift lever knob will be too close to the dash and it will be easier to hit your hand while shifting.
The picture above shows the cap which is pressed on the lever above the pivot ball. The original cadmium plating remains can be seen on the cap on the right.
Ford managed to put his name just about everywhere! The Ford script is seen on this 1928 shift lever forging.
Shown above is an era advertisement from American Machinist Magazine showing the automatic machinery produced by Porter-Cable to turn and grind the shift lever forgings, before bending to shape.