Automobiles of the 1920's

Page Done by Mike Jackson
Mr. Finely's U.S. History Project

The 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 market.

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 known for.

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 for paving.

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.


Automobiles of the 1920's

Bibliography

http://www.angelfire.com/co/pscst/car.html site made by: Unanimous

http://moaa.aadl.org/1920-1929pg4.htm site made by:Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

1920's Web Page Project