America: History of Our Nation

The Roaring Twenties (1919–1929)

Web Extra!

How did car ownership in the United States change during the 1920s?

  1. The optimism and increased wealth of the 1920s was accompanied by a surge in automobile sales. Suddenly, cars were less expensive and more accessible to a larger part of the American population. Use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! to look up the number of cars registered in the United States during different parts of the 1920s. Try using the search terms motor vehicle, registration, 1920, and U.S. or try the website of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce.
  2. Next, use a Create a Graph Web tool* to create a bar or line graph that tracks the number of automobiles registered during at least five years during the 1920s. Be sure to choose years spaced evenly, such as 1920, 1922, 1925, 1927, and 1929. Be sure to label the x-axis and the y-axis, title your graph, and use both group and data labels.
  3. Under the Print/Save tab, e-mail your graph to a classmate. Ask him or her to print the graph and then list any conclusions he or she can make about the 1920s and car ownership by looking at your graph. Check these conclusions by using your textbook and a search engine to learn more about the economy and social outlook of the 1920s.

Extensions

  • Think of highly populated suburbs in your state. Use a search engine to research the population history of at least two of these suburbs. As more American families owned cars, how was the population of these suburbs affected? Concentrate on the 1920s, when car ownership skyrocketed. Record your findings in a short table.
  • Review your graph. Then preview the next chapter in your textbook. Now that you know what happened next in U.S. history, what do you predict would happen to your chart if you added car-ownership data for the 1930s?

Alternative

The optimism and increased wealth of the 1920s was accompanied by a surge in automobile sales. Suddenly, cars were less expensive and more accessible to a larger part of the American population. Use online or print resources to look up the number of cars registered in the United States during different parts of the 1920s. Next, use graph paper to create a bar or line graph that tracks the number of automobiles registered during at least five years during the 1920s, such as 1920, 1922, 1925, 1927, and 1929. Compare graphs with a classmate. Work together to create a list of any conclusions you can make about the 1920s and car ownership by looking at your graphs. Check these conclusions by using your textbook and a search engine to learn more about the economy and social outlook of the 1920s.


*For instructions on how to create graphs, see the Create a Graph tutorial.