Comments about mechanized mass production as a unique American contribution to industrial developments are as commonplace as they are misleading. Misleading because they ignore earlier European examples such as printing from movable type, shipbuilding in seventeenth-century Holland, the mechanization of textile manufacturing in Britain in the late eighteenth century, musket production in France about the same time, quantity output of pulley blocks from the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and efforts in various nineteenth-century European cities at mechanized bread baking. The common feature in all these cases is that the manufacturer perceived a very large market for identical copies of the same product. On the heels of these precedents, Americans seem to have done more than others with mechanized mass production in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially with metal articles such as firearms, sewing machines, typewriters, and automobiles. To typify these achievements Henry Ford and the Model T, introduced in October 1908, are usually cited, but the Locomobile Company of America actually manufactured the first small steam car, which sold some 5,200 form 1899 to 1903. By this performance the Locomobile illuminated the possibilities and made it easier for the rest of the automobile industry. Sprouted in the Boston region but rooted in Bridgeport, Locomobile shows that New England was a major part of the beginnings of the American Automobile Industry.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Originally published in Journal of Transport History, 2nd series, vol. V, no. 2 (1979) pp. 65-82.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Ashgate Publishing Company

    110 Cherry Street, Suite 3-1
    Burlington, VT  United States  05401-3818
  • Authors:
    • Villalon, LJA
    • Laux, J M
  • Publication Date: 1997


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00794164
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1859283454
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2000 12:00AM