10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile

Larry Holzwarth - February 21, 2018

Those who sniff at electric and hydrogen powered vehicles because there is inadequate infrastructure to make them practical are ignoring a basic lesson of history. When gasoline powered automobiles were born there was no infrastructure to support them either. Outside of the cities there were few paved roads. There were no gasoline stations. For that matter there was very little gasoline. Towns were connected to each other by rail or by horse drawn coach. Some towns on streams relied on the water for conveyance to other destinations. Every town of any size had a blacksmith, even if it wasn’t a full time employment, but few had a mechanic of any sort.

The automobile created its own infrastructure and in so doing led to the demise of the infrastructure required of traveling by horseback. Industries were born and grew slowly and as they did others dwindled until they all but died. Many cities still maintain stables for the horses used by their police departments, but there are few liveries for the renting and stabling of horses in urban areas today. The automobile led to new industry and job creation as it also brought the demise of others.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
The proud owner of this early automobile is in the back seat, and a chauffeur, probably also a mechanic, is in front. Wikimedia

Here are five beginnings and five endings for which we can thank the automobile.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
This interurban car from the Parkersburg, Marietta, and Vienna is equipped with snow sweeping equipment. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Interurban Rail Companies

In the early twentieth century it was possible to travel between cities and their neighboring communities on self-propelled rail cars called interurbans. They were so prevalent that by changing systems when arriving in each city one could travel up and down the east coast from New England to Virginia using the interurbans of successive cities and their systems. Nearly all were electrically powered, connected to an overhead wire, and in some systems passengers could order meals, including breakfast made to order as they traveled.

The interurban meant that a businessman could travel in comfort between, for example, Indianapolis, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio, in almost any weather, without having to cope with the mostly unpaved roads and their interminable ruts and bumps, far more quickly than any horse drawn vehicle could convey him. If so desired he could return the same day. The main purpose of the interurban allowed smaller towns to connect with the business district of the nearest major city and many cities, Indianapolis for example, had rail lines emanating from its core like the multiple spokes of a wheel.

The interurbans sparked the growth of the suburbs and farther out towns and villages as they provided reliable and convenient travel into the city, allowing employees to move away from the often overcrowded and smoke filled environments which the city offered. Most could not survive solely on passenger fares, and many supplemented their income by carrying freight at rates which allowed farmers just outside of town an opportunity to deliver fresh produce and dairy products to urban markets each day.

The interurban companies were for the most part privately held and few made a great deal of money. The company owned or leased the rails and the cars which ran on them. In the early decades of the twentieth century car ownership increased rapidly and obliging local, state, and federal governments all turned their attention and the tax dollars they collected towards improving the streets and roads. It was soon less expensive and more convenient (and for many more fun) to use the car for the needs formerly met by the interurbans. One by one the companies that ran them folded, or switched to the use of buses.

By the late 1930s they were nearly all gone, although some lasted into the 1950s. Today some regions are relying on light rail systems to perform the function of the interurban railway, but there is nothing like the systems which were found when the interurban railways were so popular that they took most of the passenger traffic away from the cross country railroads. Many communities have created multipurpose recreational trails along the rail beds of the interurban railways which once served their cities, and some cities are exploring the feasibility of developing new interurban systems in the near future.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
An early service station, this one by Atlantic, later ARCO, in Allentown Pennsylvania in 1921. Wikimedia

The Service Station

Early travelers by automobile were intrepid folks. They had to be. Places to buy gasoline were scarce, limited to the interior of towns. In the beginning gasoline was purchased at drug stores. As the number of cars on the road increased, motorists found fuel at general stores and hardware stores, and sometimes at dry cleaners. In the earliest days of the automobile many of these establishments were not open for business on Sundays, so road trips required careful planning. It was soon evident that a business opportunity existed.

Some businesses installed curbside pumps on the sidewalk in front of their store beforehand, but the first designed and built filling station was opened in Pittsburgh in 1913 by the Gulf Refining Company. It was built in the design of a pagoda, offered attendants to pump the gasoline, and also provided free water and air to those in need of them. On its first day of operation, December 1, it sold 350 gallons of gasoline through its Bowser pumps. Earlier filling “stations” had required the attendants to pump fuel into a container and carry the container to customer’s vehicle, the Gulf system pumped it directly into the car’s tank.

It wasn’t long before the filling station became ubiquitous, and competition led to the development of additional products and services for the traveling motorist. Motor oil, tires, and eventually repair services were added to the product lines of all the major oil company’s filling stations, and they became known as service stations. Starting with the first Gulf station in Pittsburgh, they offered road maps, the printing of which being another industry created by the automobile. Initially maps were offered for sale though it wasn’t long before they were given away, with the location of company service stations conveniently printed along the route.

That wasn’t all that was free. Competition was keen and gasoline was cheap. The motorist could remain in or get out of the vehicle as station attendants checked the oil, the water, the battery, the tires, washed the windshield, and pumped the gas. Vending machines offered candy, cigarettes, and cold drinks, or the attendant sold them over the counter. To attract motorists away from competitors, rewards were offered in the form of trading stamps. Many stations soon either had a tow truck or were affiliated with a towing service. National advertising focused on fuel quality and brand loyalty.

Today the service station is all but gone, replaced by convenience stores which offer gasoline. Most major supermarket chains have placed gas stations on their parking lots. It is becoming more and more difficult to find a full service station, other than in rural areas. In many small towns the service station became a gathering place, today they are in and out quick stops, more concerned in marketing the quality of their coffee than the level of service they offer the traveler. Most drivers are more concerned with the price per gallon sign than they are with the brand sign.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
An abandoned blacksmith’s shop in Oklahoma. In 1900 there were over 400 blacksmith shops in Brooklyn alone. Wikimedia

Blacksmiths and Farriers

At the turn of the twentieth century two of the tradesmen critical to any town were blacksmith and farriers. If a traveler’s horse threw a shoe, it was the blacksmith or a farrier who was needed to set matters right. But it wasn’t only horseshoeing which made them critical to travelers and those remaining at home. Wagon wheels were rimmed with metal bands which often need repair or replacement. Axles rode on bearings and both needed attention from time to time. Early motorists all too often visited the blacksmith for the temporary repair of a critical part.

Before the internal combustion engine pioneered by the automobile became the main source of motive power for all sorts of machinery, farm equipment was drawn by horses, mule, or oxen. All of these relied on the blacksmith, as did the machinery itself. Plows which became damaged in use were taken to the blacksmith for repair, if the farmer was unskilled in working metal. In larger towns many blacksmiths employed lathes to create parts for machinery and decorative metalwork.

The automobile assembly system which Henry Ford created, using interchangeable parts to produce cars, contributed greatly to the demise of the blacksmith. Much of the need for their services was eliminated as fewer horses required shoeing. Rubber tires replaced metaled wagon wheels. Steam plows and those animal drawn were replaced by larger, more powerful plows using the internal combustion engine as its reliability increased.

Many blacksmiths added the mechanical skills needed to service and repair automobiles, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas. In short order, some of the more commonly replaced automobile parts, such as tires, were being stocked by blacksmith’s, others which were necessary to a vehicle’s repair were ordered by telegraph or telephone for delivery to the blacksmith’s shop. Blacksmiths and service stations soon had competition from the automobile parts store, another new specialty which blossomed along the popularity of traveling by car.

There are of course still blacksmiths, but it has become rare to find one, especially in comparison to the age before the automobile. Then he was the artisan to which all went for the repair of their conveyance, whether coach, wagon, or horseback. Farriers too exist wherever horses are stabled, but they are not found in the middle of towns, where liveries no longer exist as they did before the automobile. When the automobile was born gasoline was hard to find, blacksmiths and farriers were known to all. By the end of the 1930s the opposite prevailed.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
This billboard urged New Yorkers to cross the Verrazano Narrows bridge and move to Staten Island. National Archives

Road Signs and Billboards.

Before the automobile a traveler by rail or coach looked out the window and saw only the prevailing scenery as it passed by. Railroad stations usually bore a sign which announced the name of the place, but arrival by coach did not customarily offer such a courtesy. Signs which displayed the name of the town were not needed when visitors were relatively few and the natives already knew where they lived. When crossroads were encountered by travelers they were sometimes identified by a marker of some sort but just as often they were not. Many roads bore multiple names, depending upon where they were encountered.

Road signs offering directions and distance were the result of the automobile, as were the roads themselves and the manner of identifying them by number. So was sign advertising, in the form of billboards. It didn’t take long for advertising companies to recognize the increasing number of people traveling by automobile. Towns interested in increasing the traffic through them also saw an opportunity to interest travelers in the charms of their community. Some of the earliest billboards were achieved by advertisers receiving permission to paint barns located along the sightlines of roads. Many of these are still visible along rural roads, sometimes announcing businesses which no longer exist.

The posting of billboards and roadside signs exploded in the 1920s, when it was largely unregulated except by occasional local ordinances. In 1925 Burma Shave began its longtime advertising campaign by spelling out amusing axioms presented on a series of successive signs. By 1963, the final year of the campaign, more than 600 sets of the signs had been installed along American roads. Billboards announcing upcoming attractions, businesses, products, services, events, jobs, and virtually everything else which someone wanted to bring to public attention covered America’s highways.

It reached the point that by the 1960s the state and federal governments began to take action to limit the number of billboards and their content, both to prevent excessive distraction of the driver and to ensure compliance with other standards. When cigarette advertising was banned from television it moved extensively to billboards, and new standards were written and applied to the roadside signs. There are still stretches of interstate highway in many states in which both sides of the interstate are a continuing stream of billboards.

Several tourist destinations, such as South Dakota’s Wall Drug and South Carolina’s South of the Border, built billboard chains which extend for hundreds of miles on the main roads which approach them. Neither the tourist attraction itself nor the billboard campaign touting it existed before the automobile, and neither could exist without it. In some areas of the nation a twenty mile drive exposes the traveler to more advertising than three hours of television, even if eyes remain on the road and the signs are seen but peripherally.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
The automobile helped make the home delivery of milk and other products a thing of the past. Wikimedia

The Milkman

Daily delivery of milk and other dairy products was commonplace at the dawn of the automotive age, and initially benefited from it. Delivery vehicles cooled at first with ice and later via refrigeration made the delivery of products subject to rapid spoilage easier, and the reliable arrival of the milkman was an accepted part of life across the country, in large cities and small towns. As late as the 1960s houses were constructed with built-in receptacles for dairy products, with external and internal doors and lined with insulation.

As the automobile led the flight from urban areas into the suburbs and the numbers of houses increased, the dairy delivery business struggled to keep up. They were often seen alongside other deliverers of perishables, vegetable and eggs for example, and their vans were recognized by children as repositories of other items, such as ice cream and popsicles. With the other vehicles on the roads they struggled to meet their daily schedules on time. Meanwhile their employers were looking at alternatives.

The automobile led merchants to change where they located their stores, and traffic patterns led them to study sites based on the ease of ingress and egress from major commuter arteries rather than the convenience of the surrounding neighborhood. This made it easier for commuters to stop on their way to and from work, and perishable items could easily be picked up at the same time other errands were accomplished. The strip mall was born, as well as the shopping center, and items which were formerly delivered to the home were readily available. It was cheaper for the dairy to deliver to the stores than to individual homes.

When the first oil shortages hit in the 1970s it sounded the death knell for an already dying tradition, and the white suited milk delivery driver became a thing of the past. Milk delivery is still commonplace in much of Europe, but by the turn of the 21st century less than 0.4% of residents in the United States had milk delivered to their home on a scheduled basis. Many of those were delivered to not by an independent dairy, but via a delivery service offered by a local merchant or service. The convenience offered by the automobile and the stores built to accommodate it brought an end to the milkman.

There is today a backlash which may lead to the return of home delivery of milk and other perishable products. There are several companies which offer the delivery of all the required ingredient for meals, ready for preparation at home. Many major supermarket chains are experimenting or have implemented home delivery service in response to this intrusion on their market. Others have established online ordering for either pickup or home delivery. And in some communities private dairies are again trying to establish the delivery of their products as part of buy local campaigns.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
The Colonial Motor Court in Hamilton Ohio was an example of the hospitality available for motorists before the motel boom. Wikimedia


There were roadside inns along the crude roads of colonial America, and in many cases communities grew up around them. Later, as the country expanded, stage coach stops were needed to stable horses and change the teams when necessary. These sometimes offered accommodations to travelers as well. But for the most part hotels were located in the center of towns and cities. When the automobile was born there were no roadside stops for overnight rest, many early automobile enthusiasts became camping enthusiasts as well. This led to the establishment of auto camps, where motorists were offered a place to park and camp for the night, sleeping in their vehicle, a tent, or under the stars.

Small roadside auto lodges came next, offering a collection of small cabins, some with bathrooms and some offering a communal shower room. Most of these were alongside the main roads of the day, such as the Lincoln or Dixie Highway, and often reflected a theme based on the area in which they were located. Quality and amenities offered varied widely, and even as late as the 1940s a traveler could not be aware of what he was getting into unless they or someone they knew had been there before. Some roadside motels became famous nationally but most were adventures into the unknown.

Motor courts and auto lodges were all that was available outside of towns as late as the 1950s, when the post war boom in the economy and the auto industry led to more traveling by car than ever before. With the release of wartime rationing of gasoline and the growth of young families the idea of vacationing by car took hold. Business travel by car increased as well. The motor courts and auto lodges were incapable of handling the traffic, and many motorists demanded better than what they found when they visited them.

The motel chain began with Holiday Inn, when its founder picked the sight for his first motel on the main highway between Memphis and Nashville. The next motels were built on other roads which approached Memphis from other directions. When the chain expanded to other cities it followed the same scenario, ensuring their properties were seen by motorists prior to arriving at the town’s center, where competitor’s hotels stood. It wasn’t long before the success of the venture was noted by others, and more motel chains were developed, just outside of an area’s business center, accommodating the automobile as much as the traveler it conveyed.

When the interstate highway system was developed the on and off ramps of intersecting major roads were immediately seen as prime locations for motels and the motor courts and auto lodges became a thing of the past. Many still exist in business along the older US highways, and many more can be found standing empty and abandoned. The motels which straddle the interstate highway system and employ nearly a quarter of a million workers were developed to accommodate the automobile, and likely would not exist had it not been for the American love affair with its cars.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
A Brooklyn Fire Company poses with their horse drawn fire engine. Wikimedia


Early regulations covering the automobile included the enforcement of Red Flag laws, which required self-propelled vehicles be preceded when moving by a person waving a red flag. The intent was to warn an approaching horse drawn vehicle or rider that the automobile was there and enable them to avoid the clattering vehicle which often scared horses into a panic. In Pennsylvania in the early nineteenth the legislature passed a law which required the automobile driver to stop, disassemble – yes, disassemble – the vehicle and conceal it, allowing the horse to pass without incident before reassembling and passing on his way. Fortunately the governor had the good sense to veto the law.

Clearly horses and cars were not meant for each other. Lawmaker were urged to restrict the efficiency of the automobile which then shared the road with pedestrians, cyclists, and horse drawn vehicles. As automotive technology evolved cars became quieter, less inclined to backfire (except when being started), and burned fuel more efficiently, decreasing the noxious fumes they emitted to a certain extent. Horses and their owners became more tolerant of the horseless carriage. Or maybe they just got used to it.

At any rate it wasn’t long before the car began to displace the horse as the main mode of transport in cities. Its convenience was undeniable. Hitch up a team or crank a starter? Speed of arrival made the internal combustion engine superior to a team of horses. Fire departments and police departments began to adopt the car over the horse. The vast infrastructure which supported the horse drawn industry began to crumble. Stables and liveries which housed, bought, sold, and rented horses for all uses closed as quickly as garages and car dealers opened. Besides the aforementioned blacksmiths, farriers, whip makers, drivers adept with horse teams, saddlers, buggy and coachbuilders, and many other trades and professions were slowly driven – no pun intended – out of business.

There was another, largely overlooked service which was eliminated by the automobile. American cities in 1900 were home to an estimated 3 to 3.5 million horses. Horses create about 22 pounds of what will charitably be called manure every day, and the majority of it was randomly deposited on city streets. Manure attracts flies. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century cities were filled with the stench of the rotting manure and teeming with flies. Health issues aside, and they were considerable based on the population density of some cities, there was an esthetics problem.

Cities and towns faced a losing battle attempting to keep the streets clean, and city budgets were greatly strained by the need to continually remove the manure. Many towns located on waterways simply disposed of it by dumping it in the water. There was no collecting and selling to farmers, whose own animals produced sufficiently to meet their fertilizer needs. As the automobile displaced the horse as the main mode of transport, the business of collecting manure (and also horses which died on the street) was gradually replaced by other needs, some of them created by the automobile.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
The unfortunate driver of this early Chevrolet operated it in both Maryland and the District of Columbia, requiring license plates from both. Wikimedia

Traffic Laws and Revenues

In 1901 the State of New York became the first to require an owner of an automobile to purchase and affix a license plate on the vehicle. It took less than two decades for the rest of the nation to jump on that bandwagon. Driver’s licenses themselves took longer to become as popular, in 1935 there were still nine states which did not require a driver’s license to operate a vehicle on their roads and streets. Few states required a driving test to acquire a license. There was little formal training and no minimum training requirement.

Often the person who taught an automobile owner how to drive a car was the person from whom it was purchased, and the focus was more on how the vehicle was operated than the prevailing traffic laws and compliance. People learned to drive from friends or family members, and as traffic laws were enacted and enforced, organizations such as high schools and youth groups began offering driving training which shifted the focus to driving safely in accordance with the law. Excessive speed was a main concern of the authorities elected to protect us from ourselves, and speed laws evolved with the automobile.

Even the earliest automobiles were capable of exceeding the speed restrictions placed upon it, one of the major factors contributing to its popularity. The earliest automobiles were often limited by concerned communities to a speed which did not exceed that of a walking horse. Some made it illegal to pass a horse drawn conveyance travelling in the same direction. These restrictions robbed the automobile of one of its prime advantages, and the fines imposed for violating them gave birth in local and state governments to the idea of using the automobile, or rather its driver, as a revenue source. Few had ever placed speed restrictions on a horse, nor required a license plate for the vehicles the horse pulled.

As the number of cars in cities grew, the need to control their interaction with each other was obvious. William Phelps Eno, a businessman who never learned to drive a car, had for many years been creating solutions to the heavy traffic of horse drawn vehicles in New York City and other metropolitan areas. He applied this experience and knowledge to automobile traffic through a series of publications, including Fundamentals of Highway Traffic Regulation in 1926, and The Parking Problem in 1942. These and several other works by Eno served as the guidelines for many of the traffic laws, including the calculation of speed limits, which are enforced today.

One way urban streets were an innovation suggested by Eno. So were rotaries, or traffic circles, which he referred to as the gyratory traffic system. We have Eno to thank for introducing the pedestrian crosswalk, the stop sign, and safety islands in the street for pedestrian safety. Eno’s ideas for ensuring a smooth flow of vehicular traffic were adopted around the world. As governments adopted his and others ideas for traffic regulations they also enacted fines and other punishments for their violation. Today, revenues from traffic violations collected are estimated to be between 3.75 and 7.5 billion dollars annually in the United States. The range is broad because many communities do not release the amount collected from traffic fines, including it instead in other categories to mask the true amount.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
One of America’s greatest passenger trains, the New York Central’s 20th Century Limited departs Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station in 1938. Associated Press

Long Distance Passenger Rail

It wasn’t the automobile alone which nearly destroyed the passenger rail system in the United States, which is now in some areas receiving a new lease on life. Government policies and the aviation industry were co-conspirators, as were major oil companies and automobile manufacturers. But they all centered about the automobile to a large extent. Of course, rail passenger service was never the primary breadwinner for American railroads, who relied on freight service and government contracts for the majority of their income.

By the 1930s passenger rail was already declining as more and more Americans relied for both medium and shorter range trips on their car. Roads had improved near the major urban areas to the point that driving was not only a viable alternative for taking the train, it was also more convenient. It’s much easier, obviously, to drive onto a connecting road than to wait at a train station for a connecting train. Cars had become much more comfortable, with smoother rides, more powerful acceleration, and working heaters, radio, and other amenities which made them preferable to mass transit.

World War II gave the railroads a brief respite. Gas rationing made using the car prohibitive for those required to travel, even on business in most cases. The railroads also moved the vast numbers of troops from mustering stations to training bases and ultimately to embarkation points for their journey overseas. When the war ended in 1945 gas rationing was dropped shortly afterwards, the automobile manufacturers retooled to produce new cars, and the returning veterans were ready to buy. The war had also led to improvements in aircraft which were quickly applied by the airlines.

Beginning in the late 1940s improvements to America’s highways were expanded to include federal and state projects, and in the ensuing decade the Interstate Highway system was begun. These projects were encouraged by the powerful oil and gasoline lobbies and the manufacturers of automobiles, the rubber industry, and others reliant on the automobile. Railroads were forced to confront their rolling stock, which was aging and in need of repair, and the rails upon which they ran, also deteriorating. While government dollars built highways, railroads were forced to rely on their own revenues to fix the rails.

The ease of travel by automobile offered by the improved highways, and the independence such travel offered, took more and more rail passengers away from the railroads, while the speed of aviation helped rob them of their former long distance passengers. More and more railroads were forced to discontinue passenger service. When the few remaining passenger lines were consolidated into Amtrak, beginning operations in 1971, it marked the end of the passenger rail era in which lines such as the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Rail Road competed for passengers with the Baltimore and Ohio. In the late 1960s electric slot car sets outsold electric trains. Even in toys, the automobile supplanted the railroads.

10 Industries Either Killed or Created by the Automobile
More cars led to more accidents, and more finger pointing over whom was at fault. Library of Congress

Vehicle Insurance

Insurance, which quite simply is little more than a form of gambling, has been around since ancient times. Initially the insured were ships and cargoes, with the insurer, in consideration of a fee, promising to cover the insured’s losses in event any were incurred which were covered under the contract. Most vehicles that were insured were ships,along with their their cargoes. Benjamin Franklin introduced insurance to the United States, then still the British colonies in America, through the form of fire insurance in Philadelphia (he offered discounted rates to customers who purchased his lightning rods).

Vehicle insurance was not required of those who owned or operated horse drawn vehicles, and collisions between them were relatively rare, although accidents did occur, and with increasing frequency with the introduction of the automobile. From the beginning it was apparent that the automobile was more likely to be involved in an accident, either by itself or with another vehicle. One New York lawmaker opined that this was because the automobile lacked the advantage of the intelligence of the horse in avoiding accidents out of concern for its own safety.

Ohio was the epicenter of the earliest days of the automobile and it was there that a driver of a horse and carriage became concerned over the possibility of financial loss if he was involved in an accident with one of the new automobiles. The horseman, Gilbert L. Loomis, solicited the Traveler’s Insurance Company to issue him a policy covering damage caused by his horse and carriage. Traveler’s complied. Inspired by the possibility of a new line of business, Traveler’s began writing insurance policies for automobiles, the first being issued to Dr. Truman Martin in Buffalo, New York in 1898. These early policies were liability policies. Multi-line policies covering things such as collision damage came later.

The number of collisions between vehicles continued to rise, and issues such as determining fault were no guarantee that the injured party could collect damages. There was no mandatory proof of financial responsibility required to operate a car. Accordingly insurance companies did what they do best. They lobbied for changes to the law. Connecticut passed a financial responsibility law in 1925, the first in the nation. But it had little teeth, drivers weren’t required to show proof of financial responsibility until after being involved in an accident. Massachusetts followed, requiring proof of financial responsibility at the time of vehicle registration in 1927.

The Massachusetts law was the first compulsory insurance law in the United States. Today all fifty states require proof of financial responsibility when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or when registering a vehicle. Most states require it be maintained in the vehicle whenever the vehicle is operating. The cost of today’s vehicles and the price of repairing them makes the idea of driving while uninsured unthinkable, but many still do it every day, hoping they get away with it. Maybe the New York legislator was right about some drivers needing the additional intelligence offered by a horse.


Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Goodbye to the Interurban”, by William Middleton American Heritage Magazine April 1966

“The History of Travelers”, The Traveler’s Insurance Company online

“History”, American Automobile Association online

“The Fifties” by David Halberstam

“Railroad History, An Overview of the Past”. American-rails.com

“The truth about speed limits”, by James J. Baxter. National Motorists Association online

“America on the move: Licensing Cars and Drivers”, Amhistory.si.edu

“Portrait of an unhealthy city”, by David Rosner. Banhdc.org