1900s: the Way We Lived - Research Article from Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell Bottoms

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General Motors

General Motors (GM) was founded by Billy Durant (1861–1947) in 1908 with his merger of the Oldsmobile and Buick companies. He added Cadillac the next year and the company just kept on growing. GM was the first company to gross more than $1 billion in a year. It dominated the U.S. and world car markets for most of the twentieth century, while its management structure had a major influence on the way large corporations are run. Ford brought no-nonsense motoring to the masses, but GM made the automobile an international symbol of modern America. From finned Cadillacs to the iconic 1957 Chevy, from unwieldy muscle cars to sport utility vehicles (SUVs; see entry under 1980s—The Way We Lived in volume 5), GM has built many of the definitive American cars.

Unlike Henry Ford (1863–1947), whose skill was in manufacturing, Durant was brilliant at striking deals. He started...

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This section contains 435 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the 1900s: the Way We Lived Encyclopedia Article
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1900s: the Way We Lived from Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell Bottoms. ©2005-2006 by U•X•L. U•X•L is an imprint of Thomson Gale, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. All rights reserved.