The history of the automobile industry is a history of hobbyists experimenting in their garages, skilled engineers building their dreams and entrepreneurs chasing opportunities, all of whom engage in a business built on the love of cars and the freedom of driving. Although the blueprint for the modern automobile was perfected in Germany and France in the late 1800s, Americans dominated the industry in the first half of the twentieth century. Later, Japanese automakers turned the industry global and helped spread the love of the car to every corner of the world.
Together, over the course of more than a century, these individuals have transformed the creation and marketing of automobiles from amateur pursuits into a global industry. This exhibit explores the occupational roles of individuals in the contemporary manufacturing process and highlights historical figures that helped form the industry in its infancy.