Motoring Into the 20th Century explored the cultural changes and industrial innovations of the earliest automobiles. The story of America at the dawn of the 20th century is a story of rapid and transformational growth. New inventions were being marketed to middle class Americans and traditional social and gender roles were being challenged. It was an exciting time, and one of the most exciting new inventions was motorized travel.
This chronological exhibit highlighted several key changes in manufacturing that enabled the invention of the automobile, and some of the resulting social changes for women and the middle class. It revealed the fits and starts of early auto manufacture before mass production, and the race to make a sustainable and practical car, all before Henry Ford created his Model T for the masses.