1920's were a turbulent decade for automakers. Hundreds of new makes and
models burst onto the market scene. The economy was in the midst of a
post-war boom. At the time, many automakers couldn't ask for more. The
20's automobile era began with the return of eager World War I soldiers.
Car sales soon went through the roof, as the public came to realize the
benefits of an automobile. Auto-touring (vacationing) became extremely
popular,with campsites and filling stations springing up around America.
As the end of the decade neared, Ford and Chevrolet locked horns in a
fierce pricing battle that continued through the Thirties. Other automakers,
such as Cadillac, Packard, and Chrysler, began to have an impact on the
Being one of the most significant inventions of the 1920s, the automobile
drastically changed the lives of Americans for the better. It not only
improved transportation (obviously), it also gave the economy the boost
it needed to provide America with the age of prosperity that the 20s is
By 1927, the Model T had really taken off Over the first few years of
the 1920s, the automobile became a hit with everyone, especially young
people who wanted freedom and excitement. Soon virtually every household
in America owned an automobile, and it quickly became an integrated part
of American life. Parents would drive to work in their automobiles. Families
could visit friends and family who lived farther away. And young people
found a whole new way to have fun.
Affecting not only American culture during the 1920s, the automobile also
helped American industries. The sharp demand for automobile sparked the
creation of a whole new industry in the 20s, the automobile industry.
Ford had to provide for his clients somehow, so he expanded his factories,
creating more jobs, more revenues, and improving the American economy
in virtually every way. Automobiles that drove around a lot found it hard
to drive on the poor dirt roads that were common back then, and they required
a lot of fuel to run also. So nation wide road construction took place,
which created even more jobs, and strengthened the economy even further.
By the end of the decade, there was almost one car per family in the United
States (Bruce 80). As a result, the automobile became an increasingly
important part of American lives. Workers no longer needed to live close
to their workplace, instead they could live farther away and still arrive
at their jobs with ease.
Homemakers could run errands with greater convenience. The overall increase
in productivity and efficiency left the American people with more time
for entertainment and recreation. Families could visit relatives on a
constant basis, even distant relatives. The automobile provided a perfect
way for people, especially for adolescents, to socialize and make merry.
The automobile craze even came to a point where the back seat of a car
replaced the parlor as a place for courtship and love.
With the growing importance of the automobile, the city moved to improve
its streets. In 1921 pavement covered fifteen miles, or less than a quarter
of the city's total and that included only the major thoroughfares and
downtown streets used by business and manufacturing. There were virtually
no curbs or gutters anywhere in the city. By 1919 some thirty-four miles,
nearly fifty per cent of the city's total, were hard-surfaced. Almost
every street in town had been curbed, guttered, and graveled in preparation
While the city responded with improved roads, private individuals were
building special houses for their automobiles. Even in 1920 and 1921,
when the high cost of materials limited construction projects, local residents
began a garage-building spree which lasted throughout the decade. Virtually
every family residence erected in the '20's had a special house for its
automobile, and many occupants of older homes replaced the high stable
with a rectangular garage.
If we didn't have the new automobiles of the 1920's we would have less
of them today and it could cause a lot of problems with this day in age.
we would not have the new ideas from the company's and would probably
still be using the old age type.
of the 1920's