Untitled timeline


Ford Motor Company is founded by Henry Ford


Ford increased average workers wage to $5.


This made the average man the ability to buy a car making the employees the consumers. Ultimately this made ascension to the middle class a feasible possibility.

Henry Ford set up Highland Park as a separate city.


This movement shifted the focus of business from the city to the suburbs.

With the opening of new jobs, migration of southerners, particularly blacks, greatly increased. Virtual apartheid was still much of a problem and racial segregation was very present.

20,000 KKK members celebrated race hatred on the steps of city hall


Around the same time in the Mid 1920s there was a clash between automotive giants, which transformed the geography of America’s cities. When more people obtained the massed produced Model T’s, GM began to offer different models, which would suit the financial spectrum of individuals. By constantly changing the physical appearance it stimulated the purchasing of newer models because ones 2 or 3 years old looked out dated.

Stock Market Crash and The Great Depression


Workers strike, 20,000 strong picketing.


Became union town; however Ford fought strongly against the UAW with the help of gangsters.



Assembly lines stopped producing cars and began producing parts for the war.

2nd Migration from the South.

Race riots. Black and white people fighting over the same factory jobs.


Harley Earl designs for GM


Originally working to build cars in Hollywood, he brought a luxurious appeal to the cars produced by the company. Transitioned from a practical use of transportation to a dream machine. Ultimately changed the nation to a consumer utopia where the buyers dream could be turned into money.

WWII Ends, Detroit becomes 4th largest city in the United States


"White Flight"


Creation of freeway system to create accessibility into the city ripped apart neighborhoods, dislocating many people. This caused a massive upheaval of people from the city into the suburbs.

Movement into the suburbs stimulated the need for multiple cars in order to get the simple necessities of daily life such as groceries. Shopping malls centralized the consumer needs into one location, accessed by a car.

The city began to decompose due to the lack of people living there. Car business still boomed due to commuters who still had jobs in the city.

Oil Crisis


Gas prices increase overnight. Americans desperate for small fuel emission cars, drastically impacting the Detroit mobile market.

Crack cocaine epidemic


Had a serious impact on the destruction of Detroit as a city.

Mass destruction


The city is set ablaze, people throw rocks, light fires, and begin to take down the city

Packard is the center for rave parties


GM and Chrysler need government bailout