In the early 1900s, a librarian could purchase a bookmobile for as little as $1,000. By the late 1930s, there were as many as 60 bookmobiles nationwide. The Great Depression and two World Wars then sharply curtailed services and bookmobile production around the country.
During the boom years of the 1950s, bookmobile production resurged. Many credit the Library Services Act of 1956 for expanding bookmobile services to reach more than 30 million people in smaller rural communities.
Here’s some interesting vintage photos of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library bookmobile in Woodmore, Maryland on July 18, 1951.