We tend to take cars for granted, especially in daily American life. Our cities and towns are so far apart that driving is practically an obligation to live a fruitful life. This is partially true in most big cities but it is absolutely true in most rural areas where towns might be ten or even twenty miles apart. Most of us deal with this just fine and treat it as daily life but not many of ask how it is exactly that this came to be? How did our infrastructure end up so far apart and why is that automobiles have come into such prominence in our lives? This wasn’t exactly true, fifty, even one hundred years ago. Of course, the world has changed massively since then but where did the process start and where will it end? And how exactly did it build our car culture, where children can buy miniature cars and people sell things like the shelby cobra kit and there are things like a cobra replica for sale? Well the answer might surprise you. What follows is a short history of how this came about and what the rise of the car meant for the American public.
- The simple and sturdy first cars
To better understand this automobile phenomenon which led the cobra replica and the dominance of Chevrolet, we need to travel back to the late eighteen hundreds. It was a time of great change in American history and not just for the reasons people think. The very fabric of American cultural life was changing due to the emerging industrial job market and the diversification of money. People were working longer and more difficult hours in factories and they were demanding new things all the time like luxury items and insurance. This was, in fact, the beginning of one of the most famous periods in American history, the twenties, that would eventually led to disaster. But, for now, the times were booming and people were booming along with them. This spread of money led to the spreading wealth of new inventions, both for the common person and for the new strata of wealthy people that had developed from the emerging corporations. It was from this latter category that the first automobiles began to develop.
The spread of car culture
We didn’t yet have things like the cobra replica or large trucks but what did happen in these two decades was the proliferation of the car into the upper strata of socioeconomic society. Actually, for the first couple years of this craze, cars were known to the rest of America has playthings of the ultra rich and were considered very dangerous. Interestingly enough, this idea would spread to others expensive tools such as early televisions which many people thought would never actually catch on. They did, of course, but it was only after some companies saw the opportunity in marketing these items to the larger population as necessities. The most famous example of this is actually in LA where car companies did their best to start trying to out compete the public transportation agencies that worked in the center of the city. Eventually, after a few years, the money and ease of the evolving car became too much for the American public to ignore and the spread of cars was on. This spread lasted well into the thirties, forties and fifties as well.
Diversification of the genre
Since then, cars have a mainstay on the national and international economic stage. You can buy anything from the aforementioned cobra replica to smaller, more compact cars for easy city traveling. They are even self driving cars being put into development that could open up a whole new area of transportation that was unknown before. Cars have never stopped evolving along with all of the other mainstay large scale machines that help us every day of our lives. So where do they go next? No one is quite sure. Self driving cars and trucks, perhaps. Or beyond. It’ll be exciting to see where these machines can take us as we travel farther and farther into the decades of next century.