Development of Cars in 1920s: Pros and Cons

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After World War 1, America entered the “Roaring Twenties”. This period brought dramatic social and political changes. The advantages of technology and the inventions of machines brought the whole country into a crazy condition. The car, which was a sample of the “Roaring Twenties” has been invented by Karl Benz in 1886. The car is continuously being developed to assimilate into people’s lives. “Cars the most important catalyst for social change in the 1920s” boomed people's lives (Daily Life). The development of cars and their impact on the US during the 1920s can be reflected in the way people live, the development of industries, and the expansion of infrastructure.

The automobile has implicitly affected the way people live. These can be embodied in daily lives, roles in society, and relationships. First of all, People become more independent so that the old-fashioned beliefs of the family are forgotten (Leisurelife). The relationship between the family and individual has changed because the car allows people to transport freely, and people start to expose themselves to something modern so that “old fashioned beliefs” start to diverge to a new fashion. Comparing the 1920s to the time before the 1920s, not only did the automobile become an everyday necessity, but it also allowed formerly isolated people to explore the world around them. Secondly, according to an article from the US history organization, people can go on vacation which is impossible before. Urban dwellers had the opportunity to visit the original view. People could watch movies in comfort by parking their cars in front of a movie screen ( The car helps people to go on vacation, which was the opportunity to communicate and visit different cultures and watch movies conveniently. It also provided an excellent example of the impact that the automobile brought. By changing the way people's lives live, it demonstrated the increase in people’s activities at that time. The next example of the impact of people can be reflected in women. The growth of suburbs makes women comfortable. They were not just limited to the house anymore. They can get jobs and go into the “Culture scene” and they also gain more equality of gender by competing with men (Leisurelife). Women were considered a “tool” to take care of the children and deal with the housework. They had little power in controlling their lives before. The cars gave freedom to women so that they can get jobs and have more autonomy to change their roles in society, which was important even today. The cars not only enriched the daily lives of people but also made relationships between friends closer. People use the car as entertainment, not just transportation. They can spend half the night stacking cars with their friends (Leisurelife). People could have more entertainment and do more activities according to the development of cars. They could also have a topic to communicate with each other. These impacts on people show that cars altered the way people greet each other and provide interest or opportunity for people to get closer to a relationship. Based on this information, people were influenced to a great extent in their daily lives, roles, and relationships in this respect.

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The automobile stimulated American industry and made it flourish which led to the industrial revolution. At first, the development of the industry can be exhibited by dozens of derivatives industries booming. The demand for vulcanized rubber has soared ( The car needs tires to move forward, so the demand for rubber, which is the main material for tires increased. The rubber industry benefited from the trend of cars. The example of the rubber industry emphasizes that the impact of cars boosted the industry related to cars. Moreover, the utilization of energy in the car also boosts the oil industry. As car sales increased, the oil demand also increased. In 1914, Standard Oil of CA opened a chain of 34 oil stations (Martin). The energy in cars was oil, which, at that time was an important factor that concerned the movement of cars. If the energy is out of service, the cars will more likely be “scarp irons”. As the demand increased, people started to build oil stations to satisfy this requirement. By employing the facts of the erection of the oil station, the development of the oil industry can be incarnated in that very aspect. Furthermore, the car industry itself is the most developed instructed program. In the fall of 1908, Ford introduced the first T-model car. The car has some functions that distinguish it from other cars, such as changing in structures to make them easier to circulate on the original county road and equipped with a protective engine (Model). The T-model is a sample of the development and evolution of the automobile industry. The T-model will be fitted into people’s lives and it would help to boost the local and national economy. The creation of new types of cars and new technology encouraged the industry’s vitality. “Ford’s plan outlines an eight-hour workday that is shorter than the industry average. More importantly, Ford also pays workers a basic salary of 5 dollars a day (Model). This idea also influences the industry’s wages later. Ford contributed to the idea of 5 dollars a day and an eight-hour workday which is implemented nowadays. The process of car development provides better working conditions for labor and changed the environment of the industry of cars. The car development gave high wages to thousands of workers who worked in a car company. According to these facts, cars already boosted many industries such as the rubber industry and the oil industry, and also impact the condition of workers in the industry in the 1920s.

The automobile influenced both people's lives and industries. On the other hand, it also stimulated the expansion of the infrastructure. Overall, the government wants to build infrastructure to boost the economy. As the article said, “Over the years, the United States had turned into a large community. Local, federal, and state governments build infrastructure to encourage people to travel” (Model). The government is encouraging people to travel by building more infrastructure. The popularization of cars helped people to not be limited by long-distance anymore. On the other hand, the economy could also develop while people travel around. This fact gives information that cars make the United States a whole community and the infrastructure is stimulated by the popularization of cars. Next, to be more specific, more hotels appeared. More hotels for the tourists appeared, and they also have fair prices, Florida lead to 178 tourist courts and camps around the mid-1920s (Martin). As long as cars encourage more people to travel, the place to live during vacation is a problem, so the hotel market has a big chance to meet this goal. When people are traveling, finding a place to live and eat is essential. According to this reason, fast food restaurants and other restaurants started to go with the flow. The food was transformed by the car. The type of American food such as hamburgers, french fries, and apple pie became popular ( The food, especially fast food, is cheaper and more convenient, so people could save time during vacation or while driving. People didn’t need to spend too much time eating. Based on these facts, cars enhance travel so that more infrastructures appeared to comply with people in this situation. To summarize these improvements, cars let these basic constructions be more complete and rational to convenient for people’s trips.

According to all these points, the innovation of the automobile greatly impacted both society and politics throughout history. Cars have changed the way people live all over the world. They have affected all aspects of society such as daily life, the economy, and the environment, and have changed to keep up with time.

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Development of Cars in 1920s: Pros and Cons. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
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