How has the Automobile Changed History?
Early Automobile Industry.
Did the automobile change history and affect the way ordinary people lived their lives? Although they were being made in Europe and America in the late 1800's, it wasn't until the start of the 20th century that they really came into their own.
In 1895 in the US there were 300 cars manufactured. Just ten years later there were 78,000, then 459,000 in 1910 and 1.7million by 1914. The popularity of cars didn't stop and has continued to grow ever since.
Today the automobile is an essential part of everyday life, indeed it's hard to imagine life without it.
Photo courtesy ofBoats-n-cars
Ford Revolutionizes Manufacturing
In 1914 Henry Ford revolutionized the whole manufacturing process by creating the continuous, moving assembly line.
The Henry Ford assembly line method, meant that each worker had a standardized job in one place, instead of moving around performing different tasks. This increased the safety factor and led to more output per worker.
Ford reduced the working day from 9 hours to 8 hours, so that he could operate 3 shifts per day.
He increased wages to almost double that of other manufacturers and created a plan to profit share with his workers.
These innovations increased production dramatically and reduced costs, making automobiles more affordable to the general public.
It also made Ford something of a celebrity and other industries soon adopted his methods.
The assembly line was here to stay.
Photo of Henry Ford is in the public domain
The Automobile And American Life
This book takes you through the history of the automobile as a mechanical novelty, to a plaything for the rich. It follows through with how it became available to the masses, and its continued effect and changes to the present time.
The Automobile Changed The Way We Lived
The new personal transport
In the 19th century the railway had a great impact on peoples lives, transporting people and goods. The automobile was the innovation of the 20th century. It had a huge impact on the way people worked and lived.
During the 1910 to early 1920s period, new, large scale production methods increased affordability and more Americans were able to own cars. In 1914 a factory worker could buy a Model T Ford with four months pay. The Model T became popular because it was affordable, easy to operate and to maintain. Automobiles were no longer just a toy for the rich.
For the first time, people were able to go where-ever they wanted, whenever they wanted. People became fascinated by this idea, and this had far reaching effects for society. Many people previously had never been more than a few miles away from their place of birth. A network of national highways were built and gas stations popped up along them. People could now choose to live further away from their workplace. Suburbia began to spread and many other industries began to flourish using the assembly line method. Suddenly the world had become a much smaller place.
Read more about the effect of automobiles on society here.
Photo courtesy of jacksnell
How Far Do You Travel?
Just how far do you have to travel to get to work or school or even to the shops? Let's find out how far the average person travels in their normal daily activities.
How far do you travel to work, school or to do the grocery shopping?
How Do You Get There?
So what method of transport do you mainly use to carry out your daily travel activities. This will depend to some degree on where you live, but let's see if we can find out what most people do.
How do you get to work, school or shops?
Assembly Line Production
With the introduction of the assembly line, automobiles and the way they were made, changed the way people worked and lived their lives.
Henry Ford And The Assembly Line
Did You Know?
Cars didn't always have electronic ignition start. No, indeed it was actually quite hard to get a car started. To get the motor running you had to crank it by hand, something that took quite a bit of physical strength and you could actually get hurt in the process if you didn't do it right. Broken thumbs, wrists and arms were the most common type of injury. It's hard to imagine that just starting a car could be so difficult and dangerous.
You can read more about the trials and tribulations of early cars here.
Did The Automobile Change History? - What do you think?
The assembly line method of production started with the automobile. Today all industries follow this method. So, today's industry method's were affected by the automobile.
Imagine what life would be like if you still had to live within walking distance of your workplace. What about shopping? Fresh produce would have to be locally grown, so variety and availability would be limited. Other things like furniture, clothing, white goods could take weeks or months before you received them.
Remember, I'm not asking which one you would rather live without but which one most changed the way society lived!
Visiting friends or relatives would be much more difficult unless they lived nearby. There would be no proper roads because our highways were created specifically for the automobile. It really is quite hard to imagine what the world was like without all these things that we take for granted today. Keep in mind the fact that by horse you might only be able to travel around 10-15 miles a day. The automobile really did change the way we lived our lives.
Electricity certainly had a major effect on our lives. It would be very hard to imagine what our lives would be like without it.. No refridgerators, lighting, air-conditioning, computers, all those appliances that we take for granted!! Electricity made our lives easier in many ways, but did it change the way we live as much as the automobile?
Which one made the biggest change to the way society lived?
Want To Know More About Automobiles In History?
Have a look at these interesting books available from Amazon.
Early American Automobiles
This is rather a long movie but it really gives you a good idea of what life was like before the automobile and how things changed as cars became accessible to the average person..
A mug for the antique car enthuisiast.
For the man who's always working on his car.
A trinket just to show you care
- Technology Almanac: The Early Automobile Era: 1895 - 1910
The story of America and the automobile has been going on for over a century. We love our cars. We love the sense of freedom they bring. But it is much, much more complicated than that.
- Aussie Squids: How Has The Automobile Changed Society?
Seriously, can you imagine a world without cars? Yet only 100 years ago the automobile was almost non existent.
- Northeast Classic Car Museum: July 2009
The automobile flashed onto the scene like a meteor, changing the entire economy and the national way-of-life.
- Cranks, Keys and Carriageways: A Brief History of the Motor-Car � "Not Yet Published"
Today, the car, the automobile, the horseless carriage and that stupid rust-bucket that’s parked in your garage right now, is as much a part of life today as is the television, the internet, the iPod, Phone, Pad and (regrettably) rap ‘music’. But spa
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Before you go, let me know what you think about the automobile's effect on history and my page. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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