Impact of the Automobile from 1900-1945


The impact of the automobile between 1900 through 1945 was immense. It paved the way for a future dependency on the automobile. To paint a better picture, imagine life without an automobile. Everyday life would be dull, cumbersome, and tedious. An individual?s mobility would be very limited. Basically, the life without an automobile could not be fathomed. The importance of the automobile is often taken for granite. Society may not know what appreciate the impact of the automobile and effects it has created. The impact of the automobile had both positive and negative effects on America between 1900 through 1945. Automobile provided an outlet for individuals and spread the freedom of travel among all classes of people. It also helped to introduce rural dwellers to the aspects of urban life and vice versa. One of the negative effects was that automobiles helped to put of big decline in the use of railroads. Over the course of the paper, I will try to expose the huge impact of the automobile an early twentieth century life.

The image of a self-propelled vehicle dates back around the early thirteenth century. Europe is the birthplace of the automobile, but it was adopted by America. Roger Bacon had a vision of cars being made without animals so they can be at astonishing speeds and maneuverability . About three hundreds years later, Leonardo Da Vinci rejuvenate Bacon?s idea with hopes of creating a military vehicle. His idea was transformed into the modern day tank. The first step in making a self-propelled vehicle was taken by Nicholas Joseph Cugnot. He was an eighteenth century French artillery officer. ?In 1769 he built and ran a three-wheeled carriage mounting a steam engine of his own design, with the idea that it might be used for pulling guns?2. It was very clumsy vehicle that was shot into the air when it reached the top speed of three miles an hour. Cugnot?s vehicle provided almost no improvement of the horse. In the early years of the nineteenth century an American and British duo had began an automotive experiment. Richard Trevithick, a British engineer, and American genius, Oliver Evans created a workable but crude vehicle propelled by steam3. This early experiment was an improvement, but the railroads and stagecoach companies joined together. With this new combining of forces the new steam vehicle, the Orkuter Amphibolos, was brought down. Etienne Lenoir and Beau de Rochais designed the two and four cycle engine respectively in the last nineteenth century. Their engines were very coarse. Their main use was to provide power to small industrial plants4.

Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler provided the European beginning of the automobile. They created vehicles that were the ancestors of modern gasoline powered engines. They used two different approaches, Daimler began with the motorcycle and Benz used the tricycle5. Each technique needed a component of the others approach. Daimler used the high-speed motor, but Benz used the spark ignition. It would help lead to the future development of the automobile6.

?At any rate, if some earlier but unproductive experiments are disregarded, the automobile era in the United States dates from September 21, 1893, when a motor carriage with a one-cylinder gasoline engine chugged noisily along the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts?7. The inventors were Charles and J. Frank Duryea. There were a huge number of early automobile pioneers. Ransom E. Olds and Alexander Winton formed a company to manufacture gasoline automobiles. Their company was named Oldsmobile and still exists today. James W. Packard was another pioneer. He bought a car designed by Winton and was dissatisfied8. Packard went to Cleveland to complain about the problem of the car to Winton. Packard was told by Winton to leave and make a better car for himself if he was unhappy9. Packard started his company, Packard Electric Company, which presented the H-slot gearshift. It was manufactured in ever car worldwide until the advent of the automatic transmission10. Henry Ford is another notable pioneer in the automobile industry. He helped the idea of the automobile superseding the horse to become commonplace in the minds of Americans. He used the factory system, mass production, and assembly line to front the automobile industry11. Henry Ford realized his dream of producing an automobile that was reasonably priced, reliable, and efficient with the introduction of the Model T.12 The Model T initiated a new era in personal