• The automobile, practical since 1906, was proceeding to disintegrate and stamp anew the pattern of communication, manners, and city life in the United States, by 1918; before long, men would begin to see that the automobile, and the mass production techniques which made its possible, could alter the national character and morality more thoroughly than could the most absolute of tyrants. As a mechanical Jacobin, it rivaled the dynamo. The productive process which made these vehicles cheap was still more subversive of the old ways than was the gasoline engine itself.