What is the short-term and long-term importance of Henry Ford in the timeline of the auto industry? What made his contributions to car-building and car-selling significant if not revolutionary? How was he different from the inventors and entrepreneurs who preceded him?
What was the threshold in price or quality that triggered the rise of automobile ownership at the beginning of the twentieth century? At what point was an automobile considered “worth it” for consumers outside of the upper class? When did the automobile cease to be a plaything for the rich and take up its current role(s)?
Aside from technological and industrial innovations, what were the consequences of the early automotive industry’s rapid development? What sort of impact, if any, did increasingly competent cars have on class, gender, and lifestyle?