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The automobile was invented in Germany and France in the late 1800s, but the United States quickly came to dominate the automotive industry during the first half of the twentieth century.  Henry Ford’s assembly line production, which created the first Model T in 1908, became the industry standard.  By 1913, 485,000 of the world’s 606,124 automobiles were manufactured in the United States.  By the 1920s, three American companies – Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler – had emerged as the industry leaders.  In the first few decades of the 20th century automotive technology developed rapidly, with self-starters, enclosed steel bodies, high-compression engines, hydraulic brakes, syncromesh transmissions, and low-pressure balloon tires all coming before 1930.  The following decade saw the development of the automatic transmission and drop-frame construction, which completed much of the basic technology we still employ today. 


Ford highboy roadster. Original steel body.


Resting-mod, small block Chevy engine, 5 speed transmission, power steering and A/C.

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