Notes ch. 31Part 1 (text) 32 Part 1 de to “The Advent of the Gasoline Age”

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NOTES CH. 31PART 1 (TEXT) 32 PART 1 DE to “The Advent of the Gasoline Age”
American Life in the “Roaring Twenties” -1919-1929
Opening Quote:
America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration; not surgery but serenity.” President-elect Warren G. Harding, 1920
Key Questions:

1. How did the Red Scare translate into the Ku Klux Klan and the anti-immigrant movements in American society?

2. What were the arguments both for and against Prohibition and what were its consequences? How did the Eighteenth Amendment come about?

3. What was it about the 1920s that made it Roaring?

4. Who were some of the major literary, artistic, and architectural figures, and how did the literature reflect the mood of the 1920s?

5. In what ways did the emergence of “modernism” lead to a broader questioning of values within society?

6. Why did the United States, which had welcomed so many millions of immigrants for nearly a century, suddenly become so fearful of immigration in the 1920s that it virtually ended mass immigration for two decades?

7. To what extent was the Scopes Trial only about competing theories of human origins, and to what extent was it a focal point for deeper concerns regarding the role of religion and traditional moral authorities in American life and the new cultural power of science?

8. Was the new mass culture, as reflected in Hollywood films and radio, a source of moral and social change, or did it really reinforce the essentially conservative business and social values of the time? Consider the role of commercial advertising in particular.

9. Were the intellectual critics of the 1920s really disillusioned with the fundamental character of American life, or were they actually loyal to a vision of a better America and only hiding their idealism behind a veneer of disillusionment and irony?

Key Ideas:

----A disillusioned America turned away from idealism and reform after World War I and toward isolationism in foreign affairs, domestic social conservatism, and the pleasures of prosperity.

---New technologies, mass-marketing techniques, and new forms of entertainment fostered rapid cultural change along with a focus on consumer goods. But the accompanying changes in moral values and uncertainty about the future produced cultural anxiety, as well as sharp intellectual critiques of American life.


After the crusading idealism of World War I, America turned inward and became hostile to anything foreign or different. Radicals were targeted in the red scare and the Sacco-Vanzetti case, while the resurgent Ku Klux Klan joined other forces in bringing about pronounced restrictions on further immigration. Sharp cultural conflicts occurred over the prohibition experiment and evolution.

A new mass-consumption economy fueled the spectacular prosperity of the 1920s. The automobile industry, led by Henry Ford, transformed the economy and altered American lifestyles.

The pervasive media of radio and film altered popular culture and values. Birth control and Freudian psychology overturned traditional sexual standards, especially for women. The stock-market boom symbolized the free-wheeling spirit of the decade.

American literary and artist vision flourished during the 1920s. The emergence of modernism, first highlighted at the Armory Show in 1913, led writers, artists, and architects to question realism, social conventions, and traditional authority.

Interesting People and quotes:

Henry Ford (1863–1947)

Ford was the automobile genius and industrialist who epitomized the new age of mass consumer production.

Although he hated farm work as a boy, Ford was always nostalgic about rural life and later re-created an idealized version of it in his Greenfield Village.

He was widely praised for paying his workers $5 a day—although not all of them earned that. In 1915, Ford paid for a Peace Ship full of American antiwar activists who sailed to Norway in a futile effort to end World War I. In the 1920s, he published a viciously anti-Semitic paper, The Dearborn Independent, which was distributed through Ford dealerships.

Ford enjoyed his own reputation as the voice of the uneducated common person and often sounded off on subjects about which he knew nothing. For example, he asserted that earlier civilizations had had airplanes and cars, that cows should be eliminated and milk produced artificially, and that all the art in the world was not worth five cents.

Quote: “I don’t like to read books. They mess up my mind.” (1919)

Alphonse Capone (1899–1947)

Capone was the brutal gangster who dominated Chicago organized crime in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Capone’s parents were Italian immigrants from Sicily who came to New York in 1893. Capone quit school after the fourth grade and soon linked up with other gang members, including Johnny Torrio. In one early gang fight, Capone was slashed across the face with a knife, giving him his nickname of “Scarface.”

When Torrio moved from New York to Chicago, Capone followed him to help run the giant prostitution operation and other rackets in the city. In 1925, Torrio retired, and Capone seized control of all of Chicago’s prohibition-era organized crime by gunning down his rivals. Capone’s worth was estimated at over $100 million and for a time in the late 1920s, he had extensive power within Chicago’s political, journalistic, and law-enforcement communities.

After his conviction for income-tax evasion and imprisonment on Alcatraz Island, he was discovered to be suffering from syphilis. He was released on parole in 1939.

Quote: “What’s your racket?” (1927)

Charles A. Lindbergh (1902–1974)

Lindbergh was the pilot whose solo flight made him the greatest hero of the 1920s and who later became a leading isolationist spokesman before World War II.

A group of St. Louis businessmen put up the money for Lindbergh’s plane, which had never been fully tested before he headed across the Atlantic. He dozed off several times during the flight but was awakened each time by the erratic movements of the plane. Vast crowds greeted him in Paris, although he landed in the dark.

Lindbergh was stunned by the unrelenting publicity and tried unsuccessfully to withdraw from the public eye. He married the daughter of diplomat Dwight Morrow. Anne Morrow Lindbergh later became a popular author. The kidnapping and murder of their two-year-old son in 1932 horrified America and caused the Lindberghs to move to Europe. Lindbergh’s association with Nazism and isolationism in the 1930s cost him some popularity, but he sometimes advised the government on aviation matters even into the 1950s and 1960s.

Quote: “These wars in Europe are not wars in which our civilization is defending itself against some Asiatic intruder.… This is not a question of banding together to defend our white race against foreign invasions. This is simply one more of those age-old quarrels among our family of nations.” (Radio address, 1939)

H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880 – 1956)

Mencken (aka, the “Sage of Baltimore”) was one of the leading cultural critics of American society throughout most of the early part of the twentieth century. Mencken was a journalist, editor, essayist, and satirist who spent most of his life in Baltimore, Maryland. He was known for his humor and wit and never missed an opportunity to criticize ignorance, intolerance, fraud, and organized religion (mostly fundamentalist Christianity).

Mencken was well read and popular throughout the 1920s, however, during the depression and World War II Mencken lost favor with many Americans.

Quote: “Such obscenities as the forthcoming trial of the Tennessee evolutionist, if they serve no other purpose, at least call attention dramatically to the fact that enlightenment, among mankind, is very narrowly dispersed. It is common to assume that human progress affects everyone—that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous. The men of the educated minority, no doubt, know more than their predecessors, and of some of them, perhaps, it may be said that they are more civilized … but the great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge.” (Homo Neanderthalensis, 1925)

Marcus Garvey (1887–1940)

Garvey was the black nationalist leader whose Back to Africa movement had a major influence on African American culture in the 1920s.

Garvey was born in Jamaica and worked as a printer and union organizer. During travels to South America and Britain, he learned a great deal about the history and culture of African peoples, which led him to emphasize black racial pride and to formulate his plans for a return of all blacks to Africa.

His Universal Negro Improvement Association attracted tremendous support from American blacks in the early 1920s, but the government of Liberia (where Garvey hoped to migrate) thought him a revolutionary plotter and withdrew support from his Black Star steamship lines. His conviction for fraud and his deportation to Jamaica effectively ended his political career, but he remained a hero among many blacks for his emphasis on African culture and self-determination.

Quote: “Never allow anyone to convince you of your inferiority as a man. Rise in your dignity to justify all that is noble in your race.

My race is mine and I belong to it.

It climbs with me and I climb with it.

My pride is mine and I shall honor it.

It is the height on which I daily sit.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

Fitzgerald was the novelist whose literature and life symbolized and promoted the values of the jazz age in the 1920s.

His father was from an old aristocratic Maryland family whose ancestors included the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” His mother was from a poor Irish background, and Fitzgerald claimed his dual ancestry gave him a unique view of American life.

At Princeton, Fitzgerald worked harder for social than academic success and was distressed when academic probation forced him to give up his campus literary activities. Fitzgerald’s glamorous postwar life in Europe fell victim to lavish spending, alcoholism, and the mental illness of his wife Zelda.

In the 1930s, he returned to America and wrote Tender Is the Night (1934) and a brilliant story, “The Crack-Up,” about his own mental distress and feared loss of talent. When he was sober, Fitzgerald was charming, elegant, and a fine conversationalist.

Quote: “America was going on the greatest, gaudiest spree in history. … The whole golden boom was in the air—its splendid generosities, its outrageous corruptions, and the death struggle of the old America in prohibition.” (1935)

The Notes 


Disillusioned by WWI and the peace that came after… Americans turned inward in the 1920’s. They refused to join the League of Nations, denounced “radical” foreign ideas, condemned “un-American lifestyles, and shut down immigration attempting to dramatically stop the demographic changes that had been taking place since the 1880’s (new Immigration), passed high tariff’s and the world responded with their own… isolating to a degree our own economy in the process, prosperity by 1921 began to grow….and lasted until the crash in 1929…with the one exception of Agriculture which due to the increase in output from a now non-war torn Europe and increasing mechanization began its two decade long DEPRESSION.

The boom of the 20’s (“Roaring”) showered benefits on many Americans…but not certainly all… New Technologies, Consumer Products, and Advertising-Mass Media began to standardize the American Culture with new forms of leisure and entertainment….BUT—This “new” culture of “Modernism” –“Consumerism” – “Conformity”--was controversial at best… certainly a threat to “Traditional” life… and certainly to those who sought a “more perfect” society (reformers and critics both) Widespread anxieties about the future and fear---led some to seek a return to the “old days” and even some to join groups like the “New KKK” a group whose membership reached into the 10’s of millions…. These “CULTURE”WARS” will become a “continuity” in the 20th century and beyond whether it is a fear of “COMMUNISM”- THE REDS--- OR IMMIGRANTS---OR RELIGION---OR RACE---OR EVEN A QUESTION OF HOW ARE GOVT SHOULD RESPOND TO PEOPLE IN NEED…. OR TECHNOLOGY, ETC…

Seeing Red***

[the first RED scare ---2nd comes in the post WWII late 1940’s –becomes most prominent in the 1950’s… BUT LASTS until the end of the Cold War in 1989***** ( a question often appears on the AP Exam comparing the 1st Red Scare of the 1920’s with the 2nd in the 1950’s- “McCarthyism”) The Fear: WILL THE RUSSIAN COMMUNIST REVOLUTION SPREAD TO AMERICA ???

The Russian Revolution of 1917 had a large impact on Americans thinking… a tiny communist party appeared… remember the growth of Socialism during the Progressive era, previously… The Growth of “radical” labor Unions like the IWW and the strikes and race riots in the Bloody Year of 1919…THIS ALL BRED ANXIETIES IN AMERICA---

Three major strikes in 1919—Seattle (a very organized and peaceful strike yet the troops come out and kill), Boston (police went on strike and Mass. Gov. Coolidge-future Pres—called out the National Guard and many were shot and killed), and in Pittsburgh- (the largest in American History) led to a major crisis…and a Nationwide crusade against “left-wingers” whose “Americanism was suspect… especially after the Attorney General for the Untied States, A. Mitchell Palmer’s house was bombed… Thousands were put in jail…under suspicious accusations… “what of liberty and freedom of speech, the War was over,” it did not matter… IN DECEMBER of 1919 249 “radical” AMERICANS WERE FORCIBLY DEPORTED TO THE USSR---(HOW?) ON THE SHIP SS. BUFORD (“SOVIET ARK”) another bomb explodes on Wall St. in September of 1920… in 1920 five Socialist Party members who were legally elected to the NY legislature were denied their fairly won seats…because they were members of the Socialist Party---- (how?)

Unions were demonized as “Sovietism in disguise,” and employers kept and shared lists of “black books” of trouble making unionists… they also began anti-union campaigns calling for “open shops” or “THE AMERICAN PLAN.” (This works well in the South especially still today where there are “right to work laws” one example is that teachers have no union… and can be put in jail for striking)


This case has two points of significance in context---one an accusation of these two men as “radicals” and also the idea that many of these “new Immigrants” were “unfit” for America and brought “foreign ideas.” In 1921 these two Italian-Americans were convicted of murdering two men…The Jury was clearly prejudiced against these new immigrants and radicals…. There was no evidence even linking them to the murder….yet, despite worldwide protest…they are EXECUTED.. in 1927.

The conservatives loved this … the “progressive era” was over for sure---and according to Harding the “normalcy” he spoke of did not include any liberals—do gooders---for sure…

Hooded Hoodlums of the KKK

Anti-Foreign, Anti-Black, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Catholic, Anti-Pacifist, Anti-Communist, Anti-internationalist, Anti- evolutionist, Anti-bootlegger, Anti-gambling, Anti-birth control, Anti-adultery, Anti- MODERN…

Pro-Native American (White) and Pro-Protestant

Extremist-ultraconservative against the forces of diversity and modernity that was transforming American Culture

The Klan spread everywhere in America from Washington and Oregon to Florida and everywhere in between—strongest in the South and Mid-West, it constituted millions of new members and its success and influence went all the way to the White House- and Woodrow Wilson.

This violent terrorist organization lasts as a major influence in America through the 1960’s and in many communities controls the economy, law, and politics.

The KKK was symbolic of the growing influence of intolerance and prejudice that came out of the Civil War/Reconstruction/Jim Crow and is also reflected in the movie, “Birth of a Nation,” by D.W. Griffith—which premiered in 1915 –and was called the first “blockbuster” movie in American History---and called a “Lightening Bolt of Truth,” by Wilson.

How would America respond?

Stemming the Foreign Flood******* [3 acts of Congress dramatically changes our Immigration policy-u need to know how and why]***

America in the 1920’s becomes isolationist-ingrown and provincial- {with the great exception of the Modernists]

The “New Immigrants” from Southern and Eastern Europe as well as Asia… had been flooding into the USA since the 1880’s by the 1920’s it was growing—in 1921 alone 800,000 people came to America, 2/3rds from southern and eastern Europe.

CONGRESS ACTS: ***[see chart on p. 732 Digital Edition]

1921 EMERGENCY QUOTA ACT- newcomers were restricted to a quota (for the first time) which was set at 3% of the people of their nationality based on the census of 1910. [this is called the NATIONAL-ORIGINS SYSTEM] however—by 1910---there were already many from eastern Europe in the USA---so this act is not as effective as Congress had hoped…so

1924 IMMIGRATION ACT- quotas were cut from 3% to 2% and the census year is changed to 1890…now this act seemed to congress to work…limiting southern and eastern Europeans.. due to the fact that there were not near as many here in 1890… and lowering the % worked too. [ex: Great Britain and Ireland could send over 65000 a year and only 5800 for Italy based on the 1924 act] THIS ACT ALSO BANS JAPANESE IMMIGRANTS---


1929 IMMIGRATION ACT – cut immigration in ½ by limiting the total immigrants allowed in any year to 152, 574

Many denounced these acts as “nativist” or “xenophobic” and certainly discriminatory. Another triumph for the conservative traditionalists…who believed that those who had light eyes and hair were of better blood. THE PURPOSE WAS TO FREEZE THE RACIAL COMPOSITION OF AMERICA—THIS IS A PIVOTAL CHANGE IN AMERICAN IMMIGRATION POLICY---THE EFFECT—immigration slowed to a trickle… IN 1931, FOR THE 1ST TIME—MORE PEOPLE LEFT AMERICA THAN CAME IN… (the great depression probably had a big impact for sure)

*****THE THREE (3) ACTS MENTIONED ABOVE ENDS AN ERA—a period of virtually unrestricted immigration that had in the previous 100 years brought over 35 million people to America…mostly from Europe… By 1920 the “new immigrants” had left their mark though—a patchwork of ethnic communities (chinatown-little italy’s) separated from each other and from the larger society by language, religion, and customs---[this will change with the development of the Mass Media of Radio and Movies that begins to standardize American Culture***in the 1920’s and especially with Television in the 1950’s]

(Exception: the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 1880’s and some other measures against people with illness and in poverty-not really enforced)

The Prohibition “Experiment” – see the brown box in the digital edition p.732 –amazing 

NOTE: this act was only allowed as a compromise… by the govt losing its tax $$$ on liquor---it only allowed it with the passage of the 16th Amendment which allowed for a personal income tax legally for the 1st time to make up the $$$.

The 18th Amendment was one the last vestiges of the Progressive Movement.

THE VOLSTEAD ACT, 1919- implemented the law- taking effect January 1st, 1920. “Making the world safe for hypocrisy.”

Especially popular in the South and West—southern whites wanted to keep alcohol out of the hands of blacks—in the West many thought it would take away the ‘saloon’ and its gambling and prostitution … clean it up.

Large Eastern Cities were vehemently against this act…

The text claims that those in favor of this act were ‘naïve’ at best—that they overlooked the American Tradition of weak control of the Federal Government and of liquor interests…

How was the Federal Government going to enforce this law---the Bureau of Investigation [grew in the 1930’s due to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and death and passage of the subsequent Lindbergh Law-making it a Federal Crime to cross state lines in the commitment of a Felony] is created in the 1920’ s led by J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI –is still with us today---J. Edgar Hoover led this group until the 1970’s ---and became in many peoples minds the most powerful man in the world---due to his “secret files” that he had built over the many years…holding secrets that kept many powerful people under his control--- these files were never found after his death—many have been looking 

- A strong majority of the American people ignored this act.

-Lawmakers could not overnight “legislate away a thirst.”

-Disillusionment from the War---caused many to question self-denial***of anything (live for the moment)

-The Soldiers returning from war claimed that this was passed while they were away fighting for liberty---and felt that their liberties had been taken away unfairly—

-The “YOUTH” of the “JAZZ AGE” –protested and drank anyway both Male and Female—in “SPEAKEASIES.”

NOT TOTALLY A FAILURE---bank savings increased (only to be lost during the great depression) absenteeism in industry decreased, however---too many people and too much drink was consumed –it is even thought that MORE liquor was actually consumed during this period, albeit illegally…which was an extremely profitable business and very difficult to police due to the small # of Federal agents and police that were willing to arrest “bootleggers.”


The Golden Age of Gangsterism

Shocking crimes—bribery of the police-judges-politicians etc… violent wars between rival gangs over the territories controlled by each group—the new “machine gun” brought to America home from WWI…began to be used in the streets—“typewriters” killed without aiming—many innocent bystanders were killed in these vicious wars—in the 1920’s in Chicago alone over 500 “Mobsters” were killed, yet arrests were few.

Chicago was the most glaring example of lawlessness---(although ALL major urban cities were corrupted—and divided by the “Mob”) legendary gangster Al Capone “Scarface” ran Chicago by force and fear---and made him Millions. He eventually is put in prison for “tax evasion,” and dies of syphilis. However, these “bootlegging gangsters” eventually branch out into other businesses (many of the “best” families today made their fortunes this way—the Kennedy’s for example) The Labor Unions were a prime target for the mob—and they take over control of many unions---a way to make a ton of $$$ by going or not going on strike etc… goods disappearing (teamsters) (dockworkers) –BY 1930 THE ANNUAL INCOME of the Mob was said to be 18 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR---(XC INFLATION CALCULATOR) much larger than even the Untied States Government!

Monkey Business in Tennessee (Scopes “Monkey” Trial) Modernism (evolution) v. Traditionalism (fundamentalism)

Education in the 1920’s continued to make giant strides –

John Dewey*** a pioneer—begins his “lab” school at the University of Chicago, and as a professor at Columbia University in NYC –and proposed “hands on learning” “Experiential Education”---“We are what we repeatedly do.” & “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our students of tomorrow.”) The # of High School graduates doubled in the 1920’s about 25% total

John Dewey- All students should be allowed to experience and interact with the curriculum, and all students should have the opportunity to take part in their own learning. Education was critical to democracy, not just for content knowledge the realization of one’s full potential and the ability to use those skills for greater good, “to train each person to have command of themselves and the full and ready use of all of their capacities.”

John Dewey still influences education today… we all are measured by how we interact with the learning process…

The Fundamentalists (traditionalists-conservatives) opposed Dewey and Liberal educational ideas…

They charged that the teaching of Darwinian evolution was destroying faith in God and the Bible.

They charged that liberal education [and JAZZ] was destroying the Youth and leading to the moral breakdown of society.

THE SCOPES “MONKEY” TRIAL*** (in context this case reveals the conflict between Modernists and Traditionalists during the 1920’s) Radio, Movies , Monkeys performing on the courthouse lawn…crazy really—a phenomenal movie “inherit the wind” is made in the 1950’s that spectacularly replicates the event—and is done as a satire of the 1950’s narrow minded “McCarthyism” in the same vein as Arthur Miller’s famous 1950’s satire –“the Crucible” about the Salem Witchcraft trials--- the term “witchhunt” comes from this play.

-Evolution was illegal to teach in Tennessee (until 1969  really) – ****1925- in Dayton, Tenn. John T. Scopes, a high school Biology teacher was arrested for teaching evolution…


WHY: Scopes was defended by legendary defense attorney Clarence Darrow and the State of Tennessee was led by attorney and former Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan…GOD WAS PUT ON TRIAL (THE BIBLE, TOO)

Bryan was ageing and actually took the stand on the 7th day of the trial….as an expert witness on the BIBLE… The questioning of Bryant led to 2 hours of difficult questions… Did a serpent actually speak and tempt EVE? Was Eve actually created from Adam’s rib? Where did Cain get his Wife? Darrow used these questions to suggest that the Bible could not be scientific and should not be used in teaching science, “ We have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.”

Bryan dies five days after the trial of a stroke—some believe due to the intensity of the clash of attorneys.

Scopes is found guilty and fined 100$- the Supreme Court of Tenn. forgave the fine but upheld the verdict…and the State of Tennessee did not repeal the ordinance forbidding the teaching of evolution until 1967 

Christians were coming to reconcile the revelations of religion with the findings of modern science—Fundamentalism remains a vibrant force in America and the current “culture wars,” still today we see the debate over what is taught in school---the Modern v Traditional ---is alive and well today 

The Mass-Consumption Economy (propaganda being applied to business-advertising) The Rise of Consumerism-conformity- materialism—buying on credit—************************

The Economy after the end of WWI was a rollercoaster initially--- 1919 a year of strikes and inflation—a recession until 1921---THEN IN BOOMS---PROSPERITY---FOR 7-8 YEARS !!!


- Sec. of Treasury Mellon’s new Tax cuts –“origins of the Trickle-Down Theory” ******

- Ingenious Machines- powered by cheap energy (oil) (electricity) improved production of workers

-Assembly-line production (thanks to interchangeable parts-Eli Whitney) Ford’s River Rouge plant produced a finished auto every ten-seconds 

- New Industries – Electrical Power industry (GE for example) Automobile Industry (30 million by 1930)


- So we begin to see the shaping of today’s CONSUMER ORIENTED markets--- Propaganda used to shape the American mind during WWI is applied to Business –Advertising—CREATING “NEED” in American Consumers—ideas like “MANUFACTURED obsolescence” –“BUYING ON CREDIT”--- CREATING CULTURAL “STANDARDS” ---“CONFORMITY”---

By persuasion and ploy, seduction and sexual suggestion, ADVERTISERS sought to make Americans DISCONTENTED with their lives and to WANT MORE--- “CONSUMERISM-MATERIALISM” – BRUCE BARTON’S BOOK, “THE MAN NOBODY KNOWS,” published in 1925, stated that Jesus was the greatest ADMAN of all time…

BUYING ON CREDIT- was an innovative feature of the post-war economy that allowed people to buy goods without having the $$$ immediately to pay for them –HUGE—allows more consumption of goods… “Possess Today and Pay Tomorrow,” Consumers went into debt for all kinds of goods; Refrigerators, Vacuum Cleaners, Cars, and Radios…all of the NEW TECHNOLOGY of the age—




The Automobile industry brought a new industrial system based on assembly-line methods and mass-production techniques. Frederick W. Taylor—“Taylorism”-Father of Scientific Management,” was the founder of a school of thought that focused on how efficiently goods were manufactured—The Auto industry took these lessons and adapted them to their amazingly efficient and thoughtful businesses---THE AUTO INDUSTRY TAKES THE PLACE OF THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OF ALL AMERICAN INDUSTRIES****

1910 - 69 Auto companies had an annual production of 181,000 cars

These early contraptions were neither speedy nor reliable. …BUT Change occurs

Detroit, Michigan becomes the Motorcar capital of America—AND Henry Ford, more than any other individual put the American Auto Industry on the map.

Ford’s –Model T—was cheap, rugged, and reasonably reliable (see Graph on p. 740 of digital edition-“The Cost of a Model T Ford, 1908-1924) **** Ford was able to cut the costs of production so dramatically that he made the Automobile AFFORDABLE FOR EVERYONE---THE KEY TO SELLING SO MANY--- on the Graph it shows that by 1920 the COST OF A MODEL T ---WAS EQUIVALENT TO THE AVERAGE WORKINMAN’S WAGES FOR 3 MONTHS****** ASTOUNDING*****

“FORDISM” – A one track devotion to the gospel of standardization—“You can have the Model-T in any color you desire—as long as its BLACK,” -- by the mid-1920’s his Ford Roadster was selling for $260…

Production was phenomenal:

By 1914 there were 500,000 Model T’s


The Automobile Industry became the #1 industry in America--- more cars were registered in America than existed in the rest of the WORLD combined.

THE IMPACT OF THIS INDUSTRY ON OTHER INDUSTRIES IS INCALCUABLE---OIL (Rockefeller controlled over 70% of the World supply) – Steel- Glass-Rubber- gas stations- auto repair-parts –etc… A HUGE NEW INDUSTRY DRIVES THE AMERICAN ECONOMY—AND THE “AUTOMOBILE WIZARD”—HENRY FORD WAS KING…


Henry Ford was a genius—he raised his workers salaries to 5$ a day (doubled the average wage) why? So that his employees could afford the car they made---and with the extra income the local economies would improve---AND –this would also keep his workers happier ---thus UNIONS—could not get a foothold in his plants.—BRILLIANT--- the idea that his workers happiness and satisfaction would be key in producing a great product at a great price---was EVOLUTIONARY***********SOME HISTORIANS CALL IT THE BEGINNING OF A REAL “MIDDLE CLASS” IN AMERICA***

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