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America on the Move
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This object appears in the following sections:

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — Fixing Cars

Valve Spring Lifter
Catalog #: 1988.0827.01, Accession #: 1988.0827
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Valve Spring Lifter for a Ford automobile
Physical Description
artifact. silver colored metal. 8 1/8" L x 3 1/2" W x 1 1/4" H; Width when fully closed: 4 1/4"
Date Made:
Gift of David Shayt

Early cars required frequent maintenance and repairs. Many machinists, blacksmiths, bicycle mechanics, and others started auto repair shops. New-car dealers and gasoline stations also offered repairs, and most cities had garages that stored, cleaned, fueled, and serviced automobiles. Even though cars became more reliable, the auto repair business remained a necessity. By the 1920s there were more than 60,000 service shops. In the 1930s, oil companies also provided repairs. They used brand identity and the promise of uniform quality to attract customers.

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