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vampire autoistAChicago Tribune, October 16, 1921. The democratization of the automobile in the late Teens and Twenties was not without its social costs. Neighborhood pedestrians conditioned to horse-drawn traffic were slow to adapt to the new speed of life; drivers didn’t know what the fuck they were doing. The consequent death toll gave rise to the journalistic concept of the “vampire auto,” which basically meant a hit-and-run car.

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