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Designing Modern AmericaBroadway to Main Street$
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Christopher Innes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108040.001.0001

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Car Culture

Car Culture

Chapter:
(p.155) 9 Car Culture
Source:
Designing Modern America
Author(s):

Christopher Innes

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300108040.003.0009

This chapter discusses the “World of Tomorrow,” which is modeled in Bel Geddes's Futurama. It had been greeted with such enthusiasm at the 1939 New York World's Fair because the United States was already an automobile society. If one singles out the dominant elements in the American way of life, what come first to mind are the movies and the car. Both are based on movement—the motion picture, the automobile. They embody continual change, kinetic energy, progress, and flux—qualities that are intrinsic to modern life in the developed world. From the beginning, cars signified far more than just a means of transport. In 1907 Henry Ford presented the original Model T as the promise of a new social order, democratic liberation, and individual self-fulfillment.

Keywords:   automobile society, World of Tomorrow, way of life, movies, the car, modern life, developed world

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