The advent of cars replacing horse-drawn vehicles was treated with suspicion as well as excitement. In the UK, not until 1896 was the speed limit lifted to 14mph, and a man no longer had to walk ahead with a warning red flag. In 1901 resistance to change remained amongst some, even though in Europe Daimler and Benz amongst others were proving that cars could be reliable, desirable luxury objects. In America, Henry Ford had a different dream, and wanted to bring the benefits of personal transport within reach of ordinary families. In 1913 he established the first mass production line for the Model T Ford. Luke’s understanding of how a car embodies aspiration and personal style was ahead of his time, but his recognition of its transformative impact on society was shared by others.
© Annie Thomas 2013