Wheels of Her Own

American Women and the Automobile, 1893–1929

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About the Book

Women used automobiles as soon as they had access to them. Black, Indigenous, and White American women utilized the automobile to improve their quality of life and achieve greater freedom. These women shared unique concerns and common aims as they negotiated their way through a time when advocacy for social change was undergoing a resurgence. The years that brought the automobile to the United States, 1893-1929, also brought increased legal and social restrictions based on racism and gender stereotypes. For women the automobile was a useful tool as they worked to improve their quality of life. The automobile provided a means for Black, Indigenous, and White women to pull away from limitations and work toward greater freedom. Exploring these key issues and more, this book is a history and social exploration of women and the automobile during the early automotive era.

About the Author(s)

Carla R. Lesh is a transportation historian. She works as an archivist and resides in Kingston, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Carla R. Lesh
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7277-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5237-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: Our Itinerary 5
Chapter 1. Women En Route 7
Chapter 2. The Dawn of Independent Mobility 36
Chapter 3. Getting Underway 67
Chapter 4. Venturing Farther from Home:
Problem-Solving on the Road 95
Chapter 5. More Untrammeled Freedom 130
Chapter 6. Early Trans-Continental Driving Attempts 157
Conclusion 188
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 207
Index 219