SOME HISTORIANS argue that the impact of the automobile on the modern industrial age is as deep and broad as the French and Russian Revolutions or that the automobile has more profoundly influenced 20th-century American historical development than presidents or Progressives. Without a doubt, the automobile has radically changed the technological and social development of American and world history.

Henry Ford's mass production of cars marked the beginning of the motor age when the car changed from the toy of the rich to the essential transportation for the ordinary man. Trolley cars were displaced to make room for more cars. Brick streets were covered with asphalt to provide a smoother automobile ride. As more Americans owned cars, urbanization patterns changed and suburbs flourished. The U.S. government ...

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