A distinctive feature (but not what was really important historically) was the grille design that featured a central element that was likened to an airplane's propeller hub spinner. This spinner gave the front of the car a distinct focus in an otherwise somewhat bland design; imagine how the car would have looked were the spinner absent.
Ford stylists retained the spinner theme for several years, for a while elaborating it in an almost predictable manner, as seen below.
Here is the original version of the spinner grille.
Almost nothing was changed for the 1950 model year.
The final facelift of the '49 Ford featured a two-spinner arrangement.
The completely restyled 1952 Fords had what amounted to three spinners. That set some people to thinking that even more spinners might be expected in future years.
But no, the '53s dropped the spinner count down to one.
Oops! The 1954s reverted to three spinners.
Finally, central spinners disappeared in 1955, though the running lights at the sides of the grille retained the spinner style.
Spinners were finally gone for 1956.