THE INVENTION OF THE AMERICAN VACATION
THE AUTOMOBILE 1914-1932
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Roughing It



Motoring in 1902

"And it was comfort in those succeeding days to sit up and comtemplate the majestic panorama of mountains and valleys spread out below us and eat ham and hard boiled eggs while our spiritual natures revlled alternately in rainbows, thunderstorms, and peerless sunsets. Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. Ham and eggs, and after these a pipe - an old, rank, delicious pipe - ham and eggs and scenery, a "down grade", a flying coach, a fragrant pipe and a contented heart - these make happiness. It is what all the ages have struggled for." -Mark Twain, Roughing It, (1872).

During the Progressive Era, Teddy Roosevelt encouraged the American people to rediscover the benefits of the "strenous life". His attaction to the stereotypically western rugged individual carried over into the 20th century. The public responded by taking on his dare and revisiting the adventurous lifestyle. America was encouraged to carve out new roads and seek new experience. The Progressive Era assumption essentially was that the frontier was closed and growth in America had ceased. The paradigm of breaking open new frontiers, however, could not be shaken from the Americans. The automobile enabled the public to take on the open road just as the lonesome cowboy before them.







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