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View All Articles. It is easier to control than a steam engine and less likely to burn or explode. A gasoline car can go much further on a tank of gasoline than an electric car can go between battery charges.


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  • Gasoline engines have been improved by the use of computers, fuel injectors, and other devices. But growing concern about chemicals that gasoline engines release into the air i. The automobile collection attempts to include significant automotive milestones as cars changed from horseless carriages to an intrinsic part of American life. The Smithsonian has been collecting cars since , and almost all of them have been given by people or businesses. Early Cars: Fact Sheet for Children.

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    The Cars That Made America

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    How Cars Divide America

    Make the streets as slow and safe as they were before cars. After all, the automobile in the s was not yet considered an essential mode of transportation, and it was their speeding that confused pedestrians, frightened horses and tore up the roadways. But the "normal" speed from the horse age was so slow that automobile owners had difficulty keeping their cars from stalling out.

    An extreme solution was enacted in England, where in small towns the law required the automobilist to notify a village constable, who would walk in front of the car waving two red warning flags while the driver followed slowly behind. If drivers broke the law, the punishment was severe, with heavy fines, jail sentences, and charges of manslaughter and murder when pedestrians were hit and killed. In one afternoon in police hauled in people before Recorders Court Judge John Connolly on speeding charges. However, the weakness of this strategy became clear as traffic got "thicker and thicker" as it was described, and the police struggled to keep even major streets safe and slow.

    Nine older policemen were assigned to help people, typically elderly, cross the now-treacherous downtown intersections. This was abolished and replaced with the Traffic Squad — one sergeant and 12 officers who rotated in four-man shifts at Woodward and State Street.


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    • They devised a signaling method to unravel traffic "tangles" and "blockades," both terms from the horse and buggy days. As Detroit Traffic Superintendent William Rutledge described in an annual report, "The upraised hand is the signal to stop, and the swinging hand across the body the signal to start. The officers had to show considerable patience. By , one-fourth of the entire Detroit police force — officers — was now used for managing traffic. On May 25, , Detroit was second in the nation after New York to start a traffic court.

      Cars in 1952

      It was announced the same day that the 17th person had been killed in the first 24 days of May. Zeana Coatley, 4, was struck in front of a post office — the eighth child killed that month. Soon the police admitted publicly they could not keep up with traffic and could not afford to add more men to street safety. The city was losing the war against reckless driving. After World War I, as accidents continued to soar, drivers were being labeled in newspapers as "remorseless murderers," their danger to public safety likened to an epidemic disease. In Detroit and other cities angry mobs were dragging reckless drivers out of cars.

      One notable example in Detroit was John Harrigan, a wealthy year-old from Grosse Pointe who, while driving drunk, hit and killed a city street worker. He was convicted of manslaughter and paraded in handcuffs by police in the Safety Parade of The Detroit Safety Council in had bells on fire stations, churches, schools and City Hall ring twice a day in memory of the street auto fatalities.

      https://vicpatite.tk Teachers and sometimes police officers would read to school classes the names of children killed and how they died. Other cities printed "murder maps" showing locations of automobile deaths. Maudlin posters for "No Accident Week" showed young mothers covered in their child's blood and beckoning to heaven.

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      Safety parades, started in the s, became an emotional relief valve for public loss. Some wrecks featured mannequin drivers dressed as Satan and bloody corpses as passengers. Children crippled from accidents rode in the back of open cars waving to other children watching from sidewalks. Washington, D. They were followed by grieving young mothers who wore white or gold stars to indicate they'd lost a child.

      In addition to the dangers drivers were creating, nuisance issues of parking and blocked streets were also a concern in Detroit. Multi-storied commercial buildings had no parking spaces and there were no laws or even rules of etiquette for parking; people simply stopped their cars in front of a building and left them for hours.

      In residential neighborhoods homes had no garages or even driveways, so streets were blocked with cars as well. Derogatory names emerged; inconsiderate drivers were dubbed "fliverboobs" by the American Automobile Association. Other new terms were born, such as "hit and run" drivers. By the automobile had become an essential method of transportation in Detroit, so it was now impractical to tell people to drive at 5 mph.

      The city also was staking a claim as the center of the motor vehicle industry; therefore, something had to be done about the gruesome daily publicity and the public's fear and anger at the automobile. In some cities the courts had begun to consider implementing engine-mounted governors to limit a vehicle's speed — a bete noir to the auto industry, since the strongest sales appeal of autos was their speed. And as long as pedestrian deaths were attributed solely to drivers, the automobile industry had a huge public relations problem. In Detroit, one of their own stepped up to find solutions: former Ford Motor Co.