In the 1950s the United States enjoyed a broad-based, unprecedented level of prosperity. Rising purchasing power, expanding credit, and a rapidly growing advertising industry stimulated consumerism. One industry that rapidly developed and expanded was the automobile industry. During the 1950s, Americans purchased 58 million cars. By 1960, 75 percent of American families owned one. The automobile created mobility on a scale not known before, and the automobile industry became a vital element in the economy. It became one of the world's major manufacturing industries. The automobile dramatically impacted American society, whether you owned one or not.
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