Heaven on Four Wheels.... The Automobile
~ You can paint it any color, so long as it's black~
Vroom...!!!! By no means has it been confirmed that Henry Ford ever said, "You can paint it any color...," but the phrase has survived for three quarters of a century and does indicate something about America's beloved Model T: its "steadfastness," and its enduring and appealing "sameness." Cars are essentially treated like the babies some people could never have. They are bathed weekly or once a day, given pet names, are taken out for walks when nothing TV gets boring, and are fed regularly to keep them going (sadly but true). They were and still are the George Foreman's of the 20th century capable of overcoming any situation and seen as sources of transportation and pathways to a better life. Can you imagine looking outside your window and seeing empty streets with horses gnawing on your grass and NO PARKING LOTS? No cars whatsoever competing for parking and no honking horns at 3:30 am to interrupt REM.
It is almost impossible for us who live in a century of constant advances to imagine that life went on once without the existence of cars, that is, before Henry Ford stepped up to the bat and saw something wrong with the picture. Henry Ford introduced people to a new kind of freedom- mobility-through mass production which was historically significant. He was one of the most significant inventors of history because he ignited the creation of the automobile and improved upon the assembly line. He is the saving light of all of us teenagers embarking on that significant age and seeking constant unconditional mobility.
By rights, Henry Ford probably should have been a farmer. He was born in 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan, on the farm...