This chapter describes how the automobile provided the chief means of daily transportation by 1950. North Carolina, though far removed from the leading centers of economic gravity, boasted a direct air service to New York, Washington, Boston, and Atlanta, even if North Carolina's airports resembled converted army barracks with porches. Freeways were a California miracle, but North Carolinians took for granted two-lane asphalt and concrete roads connecting major cities and towns. In the preceding year, television sets had moved from a store window curiosity to a common feature of piedmont living rooms, with TV stations in Charlotte and Greensboro beaming in national network variety shows and fifteen-minute newscasts featuring announcers who read from prepared scripts. Dial telephones were ubiquitous. Medical advances, including the use of penicillin, reduced the toll of infections. Stupor-inducing ringworms, hookworms, and mosquitoes were less of a scourge than in the past.
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