Without the new automobile industry, the prosperity of the 1920s would scarcely have been possible.Agree or Disagree?

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“Without the new automobile industry, the prosperity of the 1920’s would scarcely have been possible.” Agree or Disagree?

The automobile industry started up in the 1890’s and at first production was slow and expensive as they were by skilled blacksmiths. In 1900, only 4000 cars were made. However in 1903, Henry Ford set out to revolutionise car production and “build a car for the great multitude.” Greatly influenced by the efficiency methods of Fredrick Taylor, in 1913 Ford developed the moving assembly line that helped produce 200 cars a day, with each car only taking on average one and a half hours to make. Between 1908 and 1925, over 15 million Model T Fords were produced. With the help of Ford, 1 in 5 Americans owned a car – a statistic that was unrivalled by Britain for the next 40 years.

Personally, I think that the reason why the automobile industry was so successful is because the USA was a consumer society, obsessed about having the latest commercial goods available. Because the assembly line made producing cars cheaper, other factories used the technique to produce their goods, for example radios, at a cheaper price, so more people would buy them. The idea of the assembly line alone helped to further the boom.

The automobile industry involved so many other industries and helped to keep them running. To make cars, lots of different materials were needed; steel for the chassis, rubber for the tyres, leather to upholster the seats and glass for the windows. 75% of glass produced then was used for making cars. There was also a need for oil to make petrol to run the cars as well. Not only did the automobile industry benefit the companies, it benefitted the workers. The motor industry alone employed over hundreds of thousands of workers for their factories. Since they were very good customers to the other materials industries mentioned like glass and steel, they kept the workers in those companies employed too as there was always a high demand for the materials, so the workers would still need to work to produce the materials needed.

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Another industry the cars kept busy was road building. New roads were needed so that these new cars could drive around. In the 1920’s, road building was the single largest employer in the USA. In general, the automobile industry helped to keep the unemployment levels in the USA relatively low. Alongside the industries that are directly linked into the production of the car, other businesses sprang up around the car itself – like road side advertising on bill boards. Holiday resorts started to appear as it became easier to travel around because of the car and the new roads. Petrol ...

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