In what ways did the automobile change American life in the 1920s?
The introduction of the automobile marked one of the great sea changes in American history. The automobile allowed for increased mobility, meaning that people could live a distance away from where they worked even if their city or town lacked public transportation. It gave rise to the suburb, to urban sprawl, and to real estate booms in California and Florida. It changed social behaviors, including courting and family vacations. It also stimulated a host of related industries, including rubber and sheet metal manufacturing, petroleum distillation, road construction, and mechanics' shops. The automobile phenomenon first affected rural communities, and then quickly spread to cities, where people began buying luxury automobiles, first available in the 1920s.