The purpose of this section is to give the student access to all primary and secondary resources for Unit 3.5: Montanans on the Move: The Coming of the Automobile - 1904 to 1940.
"Automobiles appeared in Montana before the street and highway improvements necessary to accommodate them. Better roads came slowly everywhere, and not until 1913 did the state legislature create a highway department to oversee improvements in Montana's road network. Short trips challenged fledgling motorists; long excursions presented almost insurmountable obstacles. Good highways were lacking, but the sense of adventure was not for widow Frances Rumsey and her three teen-age children. She bought a Model T Ford, which the family dubbed "I Own A," and during the summer of 1916, embarked on a Seattle to Boston vacation. Thirteen-year-old Margaret kept a diary of the motoring adventure. Fifty years later, her cousin transcribed the document to share with other family members" (Montana Historical Society).
"Change in the postwar years coincided with exploration and development in a new industry - oil. Although many people knew about Montana's oil deposits, no one thought about extracting the oil commercially until after the internal combustion engine had revolutionized the world. In Montana, Cat Creek was one of the first fields drilled and made commercially profitable, and Curly Meek participated in the initial strike" (Montana Historical Society).