Watch this video for some basic historical information on the automobile
In 1876, a German engineer invented an engine that was powered by gasoline (a fuel made from oil). In 1893, Charles and J. Frank Duryea used a gasoline engine to build the first practical motorcar in the United States. This invention would eventually come to be known as the automobile. Initially the number of automobiles on American roads was very small. In fact, there were very few paved roads in America at the time. However, by the early 1900s, thousands of cars were being built in the United States and businessmen were looking at ways to innovate the manufacturing process so that "cars" would be more affordable.
What was the impact on Americans then? At first, only the wealthy could buy these early cars. Henry Ford introduced the first Model T in 1908. Ford was the first to implement (use) the moving assembly line in manufacturing, a process that greatly reduced the cost of building a product, thus making cars more affordable. As a result, by 1920 there were 7.5 million automobiles in America.