My favorite car of all time....is the Ford Model T. fact. It is the fun car of the oh so romantic 20s.....the time of the last American/Paris wild abandon.....of art....literature....when America reveled in all it could be. Away with bonehead jocks. Away with stupid people. Yes to the ascendency of the intelligent.......the romantic.......the talented.......the lovely........the working class......and fuck the Corporation......
ah yes. the Jazz Age...the Roaring Twenties....Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, Picasso.... Prohibition.....Women's sufferage.....Harlem....worker strikes!
As Willa Cather said...'The world broke in half in 1922"....because more Americans moved to live in cities and left the farms. We shifted from being an agrarian country to a more urban one. And, significantly, at least until the Wall Street Crash, on paper, during the 20s the nation’s total wealth more than doubled.
oh wait. Henry Ford. The creator of the asembly line. The "great" innovation that fucked the worker of all intelligent love of work. While the assembly line did make products affordable to the average worker......and we do need to pat the old Nazi sympathizer on the back. He did say he had to pay his workers enough money to actually buy the cars they made.
How's that for a worker revolution??
Today of course, corporations have no intention of actually paying their workers a living wage so they can buy quality goods they produce.
Model T production began in 1908, though Ford had been producing cars since 1903. Because of traditions of work and making products that had been the way of the world for centuries, early cars were handbuilt one at a time by a team working on one car. Breaking work tasks into tiny parts was the beginning of faster production, worker disenfranchisement, and ultimate control of production of goods from the top down.
No longer would a worker have a say in how something was made, what process he/she found best and so workers lost whatever control they had about their work conditions.
Ultimate corporate control of the work day in every form gave rise to bloody, violent, reasoned, erudite, principled workers rights and demands.
The 20s was the time of the full press of capitalism in America. And workers had to fight back for their souls.
At the very least, since a worker was now a "tool" and not much of a
human to the corporation, labor unions fought management for good wages,
vacations, day work length and all the 'perk' workers today might take
for granted, were bought with the blood of early workers in America once
the assembly line became the most popular way for corporations to
control workers and make the most possible profits.
Apple iPhone anyone?
****Anyway, the last day of production of the Model T (for Tressie!!) was in 1927.****
If you are interested in a charming movie that shows the fight of the worker in the early years of the 20th century...I suggest Reds with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton and so many other folks.....this is another blog post.
"Everyone from carpenters and street car conductors to waitresses and newsboys belonged to a union. In 1919, when Seattle unions gained
worldwide headlines by declaring a general strike that shut down the
city for five days, some 60,000 workers belonged to 110 unions
affiliated with the Seattle Central Labor Council and the Washington
State Federation of Labor."
So so long the 20s...so long Model T.... so long worker dignity..............Unless you fight for it.
"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance"
and of course, Emily Lloyd in A River Runs Through It...drives a Model T (at 5:16) on the Montana railroad tracks.....which is a fine movie with Brad Pitt, and Robert Redford directed it...so that.