The automobile’s impact on American life is everywhere, for the car is much more than a means of traveling from one place to another. This web site explores some of that vast impact. It is designed primarily with college students and faculty in mind, but students and educators at other levels, as well as the general public, will find it of interest.
Each of the site’s five sections contains two essays—an overview of the topic and a more focused case study—plus a select annotated bibliography or bibliographic essay to guide further reading. Authored by leading scholars in the field—Stephen Meyer on labor, Virginia Scharff and Margaret Walsh on gender, Thomas Sugrue on race, Martin Melosi on environment, David Gartman on design—these essays are illustrated with archival materials from the collections of The Henry Ford and supplemented with resources such as discussion questions and writing assignments for students and teachers. The design section also contains transcripts of a number of oral histories of automotive designers taken by The Henry Ford in the 1980s; these are made available online for the first time.