The History of Fast Food Essays

The History of Fast Food Essays

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According to Eric Schlosser, an Oxford graduate and investigative journalist, fast food stands began to pop up in the 1920s “with a handful of modest hot dog and hamburger stands in southern California” (3). Yet, their rapid explosion didn’t come until the 1950s. Several factors contributed to this growth of fast food, including America’s love for the automobile, the construction of a highway system, the development of suburban communities, and the baby boom after World War II. In their article “Postwar America at Home, 1945-1960,” historians Gary B. Nash et al observe that, “The postwar era of the 1950s was one of the most prosperous in American history; it was fueled by wartime savings, favorable business conditions fostered by governments at all levels, and federal dollars in the form of the GI Bill, defense spending, and highway construction.” The constructions of new highways lead to the construction of more automobiles. With an increasing population due to the baby boom, housing was becoming limited. The problem of limited housing was addressed by the GI Bill, enabling families to acquire loans to build new houses. With farther away areas becoming more accessible by cars and highways, suburban communities were able to develop. Finally, life in suburban communities meant a reliance on the automobile to get everywhere. The car culture exploded, and life came to be centered on the automobile.
The high demand for automobiles meant auto companies had to find a way to produce a large amount of cars in a short amount and at a price that was affordable to families. Henry Ford solved this problem in 1913 with the creation of the assembly line. According to Karen Bradley Cain, a writer for the history magazine, Cobblestone, “Ford's ...


... middle of paper ...


... gain, and in turn an increase in the prevalence of disease.



Works Cited

American Heart Association. “Obesity Information.” American Heart Association. American Heart Association, 22 Apr. 2011. Web. 3 May 2011.

Cain, Karen Bradley. “FORD’S ASSEMBLY LINE.” Cobblestone 31.5 (2010): 29. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 1 May 2011.

Holt, Jennifer. “The Ideal Woman.” California State University Stanislaus. California State University Stanislaus, 18 Feb. 2011. Web. 1 May 2011.

Nash, Gary B., et al. “Postwar America at Home, 1945-1960.” The American People Companion Website. Pearson Education, 2010. Web. 1 May 2011.

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton- Mifflin, 2001. Print.

Welch, R. W., and P. C. Mitchell. “Food processing: a century of change.” British Medical Bulletin 56.1 (2000): 1-17. Web. 1 May 2011.

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