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Page from Selling Sense, by Thomas Byrnes (Dearborn MI: Ford Division, of Ford Motor Company, 1954)

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Page from Selling Sense, by Thomas Byrnes (Dearborn MI: Ford Division, of Ford Motor Company, 1954)
Ford Motor Company


This object appears in the following sections:

Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949
Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949 — Making the Sale

Ford sales book page
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
This illustration comes from a book for Ford dealers, written in the 1950s, called Selling Sense. The book was "dedicated to the salesmen of America whose efforts, perserverance, and ingenuity have contributed so much to the progress and development of this nation; who, in fact, have been justly referred to as 'the key to a strong national economy.'" The book's chapters covered a wide range of topics: from managing your time to overcoming customer's objections. Selling Sense reflected 1950s gender norms: one of its instructions was "Don't forget the prospect's beautiful, intelligent, wife. Point out the things during the ride that will interest her--the easy handling, the comfortable seats, and so forth."
Physical Description
Date Made:

During World War II, American auto manufacturers stopped making cars and converted their assembly lines and factories over to war production. The supply of new automobiles dried up. Reverting to peacetime production took a while: American factories produced fewer cars in 1945 (dealers sold just under 70,000 cars) than they had in 1909, before the advent of mass production. Pent-up demand and short supply caused consumers to buy any and all varieties of automobile-even the offering from the Kaiser-Frazer Company, which was a new entry into the automobile market at war's end. In the fluid years after the war, independent car makers like Nash and Studebaker grabbed a bigger market share than they had before the war. But as output soared-in 1950, car companies sold six million cars-competition heated up. Dealers competed for customers, trying to make the sale.

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