A Hobsons choice is a free choice in which only one thing is offered. Because a person may refuse to accept what is offered, the two options are taking it or taking nothing. In other words, one may "take it or leave it." The phrase is said to have originated with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England, who offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in his stall nearest the door or taking none at all. According to a plaque underneath a painting of Hobson donated to Cambridge Guildhall, Hobson had an extensive stable of some 40 horses. This gave the appearance to his customers that, upon entry, that customer would have his or her choice of mounts, when in fact there was only one: Hobson required his customers to choose the horse in the stall closest to the door. This was to prevent the best horses from always being chosen, which would have caused those horses to become overused. Henry Ford is said to have offered the Ford Model T with the famous dictum: "Any customer can have a car in any color as long as it is black." In fact, the car was offered in a variety of colors in the earliest days.