1920s Automobiles Essay Research Paper Autmbiles of

1920s Automobiles Essay, Research Paper

Autmbiles of the 1920s

Mike Beckman



1920s Automobiles

I picked Automobiles of the 1920s as my Submission Topic just by chance. I was on

lycos.com and I typed in 1920s and automobiles came up so I thought it would be a

good idea to click that so I just went with it.

I also thought it would be a good topic to find lots of research material . Especially

since I already knew a little about the Henry Fords model -T . I will need to find out the

effects of the car on America and when the car really started taking off.

I think the invention of the automobile was one of the greatest inventions to ever be

introduced to the public , and it did and still is improve economy and transportation in

America. And was use for just about every thing like delivering mail , milk , lumber , and

to take people to the hospital .

There was no greater symbol of the 1920’s than the automobile. The impressive

leather coaching and customized interiors . The ease of operation and reliability meant

freedom. Beneeth their hoods many of the cars large engines delivering speed and

excitement were found.

The automobile was arguably the most important for social change in the

1920s liberating Americans from often restrictive home or neighborhood situations.

Many women used the cars to save time in their daily domestic chores — in turn giving

them more free time, in which they could educate themselves, or find a job. The younger

generations loved the car as an escape from the chaperones.

A juvenile court judge criticized the auto as a “house of prostitution on wheels,” due to

the relatively large quantity of “inappropriate” sex occurring in the car. Businessmen,

possessing a faster, more personal form of transportation, could live further from the city

and subway stops. Consequently the suburb lifestyle began in places like Queens and the

Bronx. Rural Americans loved the car as a ride to town and the social circles.

Automobiles were around before the 1920s, but were expensive unreliable and

generally only for the rich. What made the auto so influential in the 1920s was the

increased availability and dependability. Scientific management and the assembly line

increased factory productivity and decreased cost making the auto more affordable. By

1930 every 1.3 households owned a car, versus 44 households in 1910. Henry Ford was

largely responsible for this movement, pioneering efficient production methods and

striving to produce a reliable and practical car for the masses. His legendary Model-T aka

?The Tin Lizzie? produced between 1913 and 1927, was sold as low as $290 . It’s

successor the Model-A, sold for as little as $460 . There was a movement in America to

make Henry Ford president.

However, there was also a large high-priced auto market. The Coolige Prosperity

fueled the prices of such monsters as the Locomobile Model 48, for $13,000, and the

1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom, selling between $17-18,000. These luxurious cars

undoubtfully functioned as symbols, transporting the occupants in a style that cannot be

found today .

But the automobile was more than just a practical mean of transportation . It struck

roots deep in the national psyche , became part of the American dream. ?George F.

Babbitt,? wrote Sinclair Lewis in 1922, ?as to most prosperous and tragedy, love and

heroism.? The manual laborer on the south side of the tracks felt the same way . Asked

what the men were working for, a trade union official replied: ?25% arefighting to keep

their homes;65% are working to pay for cars.? A working-class wife , interveiwed by

sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd for their book, Middletown, commented: ?I?d rather

go without food than give up the car.?

Meanwhile the obesstion with the car grew even more desirable wuth hydraulic brakes

in 1920, and balloon tires in 1922. It looked more attractive, with sweeping, rakish

fenders and fast-drying colored lacquers, and more comfortable, too. In 1919, 90% of

auto bodies were open; while 10 years later they were closed. While the makers reached

for new goals 5.3 million cars in 1929 , a few companies were providing with both the

rich and near-rich with cars that were individual and distinct.

Here is a picture of the 1928 Ford

Model-A (Arabian Sand?) The release of this car in December of ‘27 rivaled the

excitement of the Sacco Vanzetti trial and execution. Ford closed his factories for 7

months after stopping Model-T production, in order to develop the Model-A. The

unnecessary halt translated into a large loss for the Ford Company, despite the mammoth

demand for the Model-A. Henry Ford was convinced, obviously, to try adding a little style

and comfort to the Model-A, differing largely from the utilitarian Model-T, or ?Tin


While writing this report I had some trouble finding things on the internet so I had to

go to the books . But I didn?t need to find to much information since I already knew quiet

a bit about automobiles in the 1920s from history class , so I just used my history book as

my main research material . And the Encyclopedia as my other research reference. The

only thing I had trouble with really was the spelling and all the typing because I really suck

at both of them .


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