This article reviews the rise of cities, and of the machines that built them has set a trend that outlasted the 20th century. Emboldened and enjoying newfound prosperity and modernity, Engineering, reflecting the times, was bold, and perhaps nowhere was this more evident than in the American city. While electric and steam locomotives coexisted on America’s railways in the 1920s, the two technologies resided in completely separate camps. Each sector had strong adherents, who often faced off to debate the technical merits and future prospects of one technology over the other. Together with the automobile, the highway system contributed significantly to the development of the nation, enabling towns and cities to take root well beyond the confines of urban centers and railway stations. Mechanical engineers played a vital role in highway development in such areas as construction machinery, cost analysis of projects, and materials.

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