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Billy, Alfred, and General Motors by William Pelfrey

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CHAPTER FOUR

A New Machine Creates a New Order

Alfred Sloan’s Product and his own reputation as a businessman had put him in the right place at the right time. The helter-skelter pattern of one-or two-car assembly shops was finally about to gel into a semblance of real industry to meet America’s coming love affair with the automobile.

Just a few months after Alfred and Pete Steenstrup received Oldsmobile’s order, in the fall of 1900, the country’s first automobile show was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. More than 300 vehicles were on display, and more than 50,000 people paid the show’s nominal admission fee to see them. By the end of the year, more than a hundred firms claimed to be either developing or selling their own unique ...

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