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2. Motorcars And Modernity: Pining For Progress In Portuguese Guinea, 1915-1945

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Chapter Summary

Motor cars were introduced in 1916-17 soon after the military pacification campaigns, initially received little attention in official reports, as if their presence would be an automatic result of road building. This chapter discusses the way in which the roads and motor cars were (not) used and how chronic underfunding and mismanagement affected them. It focuses on the underlying rivalry between the Afrique Occidentale Française (AOF) and Portuguese attempts to match their neighbours' performance. Data gathered from Portuguese and French archives illustrate the situation in-colony and between Portuguese Guinea and the neighbouring AOF. Vehicles were now being registered following the introduction of legislation regulating trucks and motor cars that had been introduced three years earlier in 1920. Although these registers have not yet been located, occasional references to makes of cars, such as Overlands and Hudsons, show that the vehicles imported at the time were mainly American.

Keywords: Afrique Occidentale Française (AOF); motor cars; Portuguese Guinea



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