Colorized: The early decades of the American automobile

It started slowly. The machine that would change the landscape of America forever took decades to become cheap enough to become available for a majority of people. In their early years, automobiles were a luxury.

It’s important to remember the early history of the car industry so we can understand their cultural origins. That’s why EveryCarListed created these colorized photos of historical cars: so we can see how early cars still influence us today.

1905: Four tourists and a guide sit in an automobile. In the first decade of the 20th century, simply riding in a car was a thrilling experience.
3a38527r Five-persons,-possibly-tourists-and-a-guide,-in-an-automobile-1905-LC-USZ62-38171(1)

Automobile: 1906 Buick Model F

Original Photo: Frank H. Nowell via the Library of Congress

1914: As mass production techniques improved, cars became more accessible to the middle class. Here, a woman poses with her own vehicle.
3b02998r Woman-seated-behind-steering-wheel-of-automobile-1914-LC-USZ62-55107(1)

Automobile: 1913 Locomobile Model 48

Original Photo via the Library of Congress

1924: As more people purchased automobiles, infrastructure improved and it became easier to find fuel and navigable roads. Here, Rosalie Jones rides in a car on the campaign train for Bob LaFollette.
3c15477r Rosalie-Jones-starting-on-campaign-tour-for-LaFollette-1924-LC-USZ62-115477(1)

Automobile: 1924 Crossley 19.6

Original Photo via the Library of Congress

1938: Eventually, manufactures began offering multiple makes and models of the same car so that people could buy more expensive cars as they moved up the social ladder.
31739r Frances-B(1)

Automobile: 1936 Oldsmobile

Original Photo: Frances B. Johnston via the Library of Congress

1941: When the United States entered World War II, much of the nation’s industrial capacity was repurposed to build tanks, planes, and warships. Here, steelworkers build a ship for the “Liberty Fleet” in Baltimore, Md.
8b01753r Liberty-Fleet-Shipbuilding-1941-LC-USE6-D-002427-Post(1)

Original Photo: Alfred T. Palmer via the Library of Congress

1950: After completion of the war, mass-produced automobiles started being heavily marketed to returning soldiers. Here, a glass-enclosed storefront entices passers-by to purchase Oldsmobile’s newest models.
5a19604v Crystal-Motors-business-at-5901-Bay-Parkway-Brooklyn-New-York-Exterior-1950-LC-G613-T-56585(1)

Original Photo: Gottscho-Schleisner via the Library of Congress

Note: Feel free to use any of these images on social media or on your site. Simply include a link back to this post as attribution.

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