Page of

Essential Driving and Vital Cars American Automobile Culture in World War II

Essential Driving and Vital Cars American Automobile Culture in World War II

Chapter:
(p.91) 5 Essential Driving and Vital Cars American Automobile Culture in World War II
Source:
Oil Culture
Author(s):
Sarah Frohardt-Lane
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816689682.003.0005

This chapter examines automobile culture in the United States during World War II, with particular emphasis on the Office of War Information’s propaganda that implored Americans to alter their driving habits. It first considers the rubber scarcity that prompted the federal government to ration rubber and gasoline before turning to the government propaganda and advertising that portrayed driving as essential to Americans while simultaneously denigrating public transportation, walking, and other alternative modes of transportation. It shows that the propaganda strengthened Americans’ commitment to private automobile travel by celebrating carpooling as a patriotic act, for example. It also looks at how residents of Detroit, Michigan, resisted the imposition of gasoline rationing and asserted their need to drive in spite of the war.

Keywords:   automobile culture, United States, World War II, Office of War Information, driving, rubber, government propaganda, public transportation, automobile travel, gasoline rationing

Sign In

Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy and Legal Notice