Canada and the Automobile 1920s The Automobile Cars revolutionized Canadian society during the 1920s. Henry Ford (founder of the Ford Motor Company) used the assembly line to mass produce cars like the famous Model T. Mass production on the assembly line reduced manufacturing costs and ultimately made cars much more affordable than they had previously been. As a result, most families could afford to purchase a car. By 1924, the cost of the Ford Model T was $395.00-people could also choose whatever colour they wanted as long as it was black. In 1918, there were 300,000 cars registered in the country-by 1929 there were 1.9 million! The Impact of the Car Cars revolutionized the way people got around during the 1920s. Cars gave people the ability to move around in a wider area and with greater freedom than ever before. Before cars, the only methods of transportation were by horse, public transit, and railroads. Cars gave people the chance to determine where and when they went and also where they lived. Cars also had a huge impact on the design of houses, buildings, cities, and other infrastructure. Limitations of the Automobile Automobiles in the 1920s were not as reliable as today’s cars. For one thing, they didn’t have electric starters, you had to manually crank the engine to get the car started. They also had relatively small wheels and weak engines which caused them to frequently get stuck in mud-most streets were still unpaved. They could not operate during winter as the cold weather froze the fluids in the engine. Automobiles and Leisure The advent of the automobile during the 1920s also changed the way people entertained themselves-it gave them a greater ability to enjoy leisure time and passtimes. Activities like ‘road-trips’, family picnics, and other leisure activities became popular-allowed Canadians to enjoy life. Cars also provided a new form of entertainment-people now enjoyed automobile racing. New Problems Associated with Automobiles The popularization of cars during the 1920s gave rise to new problems. They created noise and pollution in larger cities. For the first time we have motor accidents, traffic jams, and pedestrians getting run over. Helped thieves flee from crime scenes-forced police to get cars of their own. Governments began to legislate speed limits and other rules of the road and had to institute a licensing system for drivers.