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Street paving in Fort Wayne in 1890s

By Michael Summers


Fort Wayne Reader


Paving with brick made it easy for early automobile drivers on downtown streets, but many Fort Wayne neighborhoods remained unpaved.

“It was the invention that dominated a century, whose full impact on society is still to be measured.” Will Rogers said of Henry Ford and his mass production of cars. “It will take a hundred years to tell whether he helped us or hurt us, but he did not leave us where he found us.” The emergence of the automobile in Allen County was heralded as a “green” event at the time. It marked the beginning of the end of tons of horse manure and millions of flies. Little did anyone think that invisible exhausts and the charming chug-a chug-a of the Model T would multiply into air and noise pollution that is as troublesome and perhaps more dangerous than “road apples.”

Excerpt from Allen County History Book manuscript, essay “A Century of the Automobile in Allen County.”

Photo courtesy of The History Center/Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 426-2882


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©2018 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.