How Public Transportation Is Destroying America (1907 Edition)

—This editorial decrying the rise of the streetcar appeared in the December 14, 1907, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. Become a subscriber to gain access to all of the issues of The Saturday Evening Post dating back to 1821.

Ever and anon rises a cry that the home is perishing from our midst and civilization must perish with it. If domestic virtue is decaying, the real cause is found in the rapid disappearance of the family horse and buggy. That conveyance infused the citizen’s breast with a responsible sense of proprietorship, inspired self-reliance, encouraged individuality.

It preserved to the matron a sweet and delicate atmosphere of family ties.

People shuttled back and forth in the conglomerate streetcar miss this world of tender and binding influence. The citizen, shaken loose from the saving domestic base by much subway strap-hanging, takes to socialism and drink. The matron, thrust daily among a horde of perfect strangers and without the steadying discipline of having to get home in time to feed the horse, gads and grows extravagant.

This article is featured in the January/February 2019 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.