How did the automobiles change the culture for the Americans in the 1920s?What w ...
Though the technology had existed for some time, automobiles did not become widespread in the United States until the 1920s. According to the U.S. History website, this was primarily thanks to Henry Ford, whose pioneering work allowed more people the ability to purchase the mass-produced vehicles than ever before. In addition to the changes brought about by the influx of people driving automobiles, the new jobs created by the automobile industry also had an impact on the national economy. Ford's decision to increase the wages of his workers allowed them to purchase vehicles themselves and further compounded the impact of automobiles in America. The popularity of automobiles reverberated throughout the economy in other ways, as it created the need for a number of other smaller industries. Different types of metals, glasses and plastics all became necessary in larger quantities than ever before. This created an economic boom in manufacturing industries throughout the nation. Additionally, automobiles allowed the American public to travel to new places more efficiently and cheaply than ever before.
Due to the invention and popularization of automobiles, Americans became the most mobile nation in the world. This is, perhaps, the only nation, people of which do not hesitate to drive a hundred miles in one direction to see their friends in a neighboring town, and then go all the way back. A driving license in the United States is probably a document even more universal than a passport in other countries. Having a private automobile allowed a common American to feel himself/herself more independent, which made a great combination with the American ideals of freedom. Drive-ins and fastfood, open air cinemas, road movies are directly associated with the automobile industry. The necessity to fuel a large amount of cars all over the country and to provide means for people to travel by cars easily leaded to the necessity of building gas stations and new roads and highways, developing infrastructure and creating new work places. All of the effects automobiles had on the American culture are hard to calculate.