following car advertisements appeared in 1920s editions of Town &
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.
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
|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.