The Impact Of Technology On 1920

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The Impact Of Technology On 1920′S Life Essay, Research Paper The Impact of Technology on 1920s Life World War I, “The war that would end all wars.”, had ended by 1918; Europe was left in ruins physically, politically, and economically. The years following the most devastating war to take place prior to the 1920s, Europe would struggle with economic and political recovery, but not the United States. Left virtually unharmed by World War I, the United States was even able to experience a decade of peace and prosperity following such a disastrous war. Of the many reasons for America’s prosperity, technology played one of the most vital parts in bringing the great economic and cultural prosperity that America experienced during the 1920s. New advancements, new

discoveries, and new inventions improved American lives in many if not every conceivable way, but not without a few negative side-effects. One of the first major inventions to become a national craze was the automobile. First developed with a combustion engine in 1896 by inventor Henry Ford, he later started the Ford Motor Company, which mass produced affordable automobiles known as the Model-T. Ford’s Model-Ts became such an overwhelming success that he sold over 15 million Model-Ts by 1927 (Gordon and Gordon 77). By the end of the decade, there was almost one car per family in the United States (Bruce 80). As a result, the automobile became an increasingly important part of American lives. Workers no longer needed to live close to their workplace, instead they could live

farther away and still arrive at their jobs with ease. Homemakers could run errands with greater convenience. The overall increase in productivity and efficiency left the American people with more time for entertainment and recreation. Families could visit relatives on a constant basis, even distant relatives. The automobile provided a perfect way for people, especially for adolescents, to socialize and make merry. The automobile craze even came to a point where the back seat of a car replaced the parlor as a place for courtship and love (Gordon and Gordon 58). The popularity of the automobile also brought immense economic prosperity. One of the major contributions to the prosperity of the 1920s was the construction of roads and highways, which poured fresh public funds into the

economy (Bruce 79). Automobiles appeared everywhere and were being driven everywhere. However a major problem was experienced by everyone as a result of this. According to Kenneth Bruce: “…there were very few good roads outside the east coast; crossing the continent was a real adventure, as during the spring when the snow melted or after a good rain storm, automobiles would sink into gumbo mud up to their hubs. Travelers crossing Iowa or Nebraska were often forced to wait several days until the road dried before moving onto the next town. …” (79) In 1924, the Federal Road Act offered federal money to state legislatures, which would organize highway departments and match federal funds. Spurred on by this federal money, every section of the country launched ambitious road

building programs during the 1920s. By the end of the decade, highway construction programs employed more men and spent more money than any single private industry. The increased use of automobiles touched every corner of the American economy. It stimulated the oil industry, it boosted road construction, extended the 1920s housing boom to suburbs, and even developed new businesses (Bruce 79-80). The success of the Ford Motor Company was so great that it can even be compared to that of today’s Microsoft. And like today’s Bill Gates, Ford and his Ford Motor Company had become a national symbol of industrial prosperity. By 1922, Ford, who earned over $264,000 a day, was declared a billionaire by the Associated Press (Gordon and Gordon 32). Luckily for the federal government,