THE INVENTION OF THE AMERICAN VACATION
THE AUTOMOBILE 1914-1932
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HENRY FORD
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Belching Smoke
The self-propelled vehicle shoved the landscape out of the way.

The Industrial Revolution spearheaded inventions that changed the way people thought about moving. It changed the landscape of America and how people viewed it. The invention of the self-propelled machine permanently altered how Americans travelled across the land by annihilating space.

"They were nearing Chicago. Signs were everywhere numerous. Trains flashed by them. Across wide stretches of flat, open prairie they could see lines of telegraph poles stalking across the fields toward the great city. Far away were indications of suburban towns, some big smokestacks towering high in the air. Frequently there were two-story frame houses standing out in the open fields, without fence or trees, lone outposts of the approaching army of homes. To the child, the genius with imagination, or the wholly untravelled, the approach to a great city for the first time is wonderful thing. Particularly if it be evening--that mystic period between the glare and gloom of the world when life is changing from one sphere or condition to another. Ah, the promise of the night. What does it not hold for the weary! What old illusion of hope is not here forever repeated! Says the soul of the toiler to itself, "I shall soon be free. I shall be in the ways and the hosts of the merry. The streets, the lamps, the lighted chamber set for dining, are for me. The theatre, the halls, the parties, the ways of rest and the paths of song--these are mine in the night." Though all humanity be still enclosed in the shops, the thrill runs abroad. It is in the air. The dullest feel something which they may not always express or describe. It is the lifting of the burden of toil." (Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie). Click here to read a letter regarding railroads from Martin Van Buren.




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