Posted by: jesshistory2 | November 7, 2009

The Automotive Industry: One Family’s Connection …

When I read that the next carnival was on cars, I thought I would write about my family’s involvement in the automotive industry instead of writing about cars my family has owned. Why? Well, I’m not sure when my ancestors began to own cars as I have never thought to ask when my family first owned a car. Of course, one could argue that I haven’t thought about asking because I’ve taken cars for granted. (I didn’t grow up in a time where owning a car was a luxury.) I realize it may seem strange, but I have mostly been concerned with the occupations of my ancestors, especially since ancestors and family members have worked in jobs connected with the automotive industry for the past four generations. Of course, if it weren’t for the people who worked in the automotive industry, we wouldn’t be a nation of car lovers.

My family’s involvement with the automotive industry began with a few of my ancestors moving to Detroit in the early Twentieth Century, around the same time that the automotive industry was being formed. According to family tradition, my ancestors primarily worked for Ford Motor Company. While I am not completely certain as to the jobs my ancestors held, I do know that these jobs were primarily factory jobs. Since that time, someone in my family has worked in an automotive-related job.

Of course, my family did own cars some time around World War Two (maybe?), but I don’t know exactly when. Even then, I think owning a car was more a luxury for my family than it was a necessity. From family stories, I’ve gathered that most of my ancestors traveled to work by streetcar, so I don’t know how much of a need there was for a car. I guess I just assumed that owning a car wasn’t necessary for my ancestors living in the early years of the Twentieth Century.

I know even less about the jobs my British ancestors had with the automotive industry, but I did have a few ancestors who worked in the automotive industry. They primarily worked for Vauxhall Motors. I’m not sure exactly when my family members became involved with Vauxhall because I haven’t thought to ask. (I should start asking a few questions relating to automotive industry jobs.) In addition to knowing very little about my British ancestors’ involvement with the automotive industry, I don’t know when they began to own cars or if they did own a car, so I can’t truly write about car ownership.

So, what could someone gather from my post? Well, I have to admit that I don’t always think about how much of an impact that the automotive industry has had on my family. I’ve understood for a long time that jobs in the automotive industry has put food on my family’s table. I’m sure that has been the case for many families that lived in and live in the Detroit area.

Originally posted on March 29, 2008.

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