THE  POWER  OF  THE  AD

The following car advertisements appeared in 1920s editions of Town & Country magazine.  These ads reflect the deepening American obsession with the automobile.  By the mid-1920s, most business class families in Middletown owned at least one automobile.  An increasing number of Americans began to view ownership of a car as a necessity, rather than a luxury.  Click on the images below to view enlarged versions of the advertisements that fostered and directed the new American attitude towards the closed car.
 
*Photos courtesy of Alderman library's Special Collections and Stevie Garfinkel.

The Lynds collected information from auto manufacturers and distributors to compile a comprehensive inventory of all of the cars in Middletown.  Of the 15,5000,000 cars registered in America in 1924, 11,660 belonged to residents of Middletown.  The following chart offers the exact number of new models that each automobile manufacturer sold in Middletown in 1924:
 
  Ford: 2,578   Chevrolet: 590   Overland: 459
  Dodge: 343   Maxwell: 309   Buick: 295
  Studebaker: 264   Oakland: 88   Willys-Knight: 74
  Nash: 73   Interstate: 73   Durant: 65
  Star: 62   Oldsmobile: 59   Saxon: 53
  Reo: 50   Chalmers: 47    Franklin: 45
  Essex: 45   Chandler: 32   Cadillac: 36

The Lynds' data clearly reflects that Ford was the new model of choice in Middletown in 1924.  The popularity of Ford was in large part due to its emphasis on affordability.  As an increasing number of working class citizens purchased automobiles, Ford's reputation for manageable price and dependability perpetuated its dominance in the field.



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