The story of the motor vehicle follows the development of the internal combustion engine. Early cars had been designed around bulky steam engines. Electric motors were (and are) sometimes used as a motive power. But the development of cheap, efficient, easy to use, lightweight gasoline-powered engines drove the development of the motor vehicle and its growth as an integral part of the modern world.
There was a steadily growing demand for cars, trucks, their components and their fuel. By 1913 we see a subtle shaping of the American landscape (economic, physical and social) around the availability of these motor vehicles for work and play. Some of these vehicles you can see in these images from our archives of 1913.