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The Roaring Twenties
Transcript of The Roaring Twenties
With Henry Ford's revolutionary idea of the assembly line, the automobile industry boomed in the 1920s. When automobile production was soaring, local and state governments became involved in the construction of roads, which generated jobs for many. As motor vehicles became more popular, gas stations began to appear more frequently. The oil and steel companies, along with mechanics, began to enjoy the splendor of the automobile boom of the 1920s. With a new form of transportation, Americans began to enjoy a new form of freedom for the popularization of automobiles allowed for them to travel great distances.
Route 66 was one of the first original highways in the United States. It was first opened in November 11, 1926 and spanned throughout most of the United States. Running from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 measured a total of 2,448 miles. The communities that were dotted along the Route benefited economically because the Route attracted a great deal of people. Route 66 was a popular route for those who migrated to the western United States.
Women of the 1920s
The 1920s developed a method of entertainment still enjoyed in the modern era: motion pictures. In the 1920s, it was not uncommon for towns to have a movie theater of their own. The movies served as a distraction from people's commonplace activities. Originally quite brief, motion pictures were later lengthened to complete a storyline; The first few films were of the romantic comedy and horror genre. Charlie Chaplin and Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle were some of the successful silent film actor of 1920s. With the introduction of talkies in film making in 1927, films were now able to use sound.
Society saw a major change in the world of women after the passing of the 19th Amendment: the Amendment granting women suffrage. Women began to develop the lifestyle of the flappers. Flappers usually had their hair cut to a bob style, wore rayon stockings, and wore eye-liner, lipstick, and powder. The flapper style had the hem of their skirts high enough to see a woman's knees; This was a major shift in women's form of dress. Along with a rouge change of dress, a rather scandalous lifestyle accompanied. Flapper culture embraced smoking, drinking, and sexual activity: all activities unexplored by women until the 1920s.
The 1920s had a shift in fashion in which completely revolutionized the way both men and women dressed. In women's clothing, there was a trend to wear less traditional articles of clothing such as corsets, and more comfortable clothing such as trousers. Materials such as rayon, silk, velvet, and satin were quite popular in the female fashion world. In men's fashion, it became popular to wear more athletic clothing, compared to the formal apparel of before. More loose and wider clothing characterized the clothing change in the male sphere.
The first radio broadcast was done in 1920. After the first broadcast, the popularity of the radio skyrocketed. With the greatly increasing demand for radios, the manufacturers also benefited from the radio boom. The radio became so popular that at some points in time, radio manufacturers could not keep up with the public demand. Only two years after the first broadcasting and about 600 radio stations sprouted in he United States. The radio stations played classical music, popular music, spoke of sports, politics, and weather. It was not until long for advertisers to use the radio's popularity to promote their products.
Authors and Writers
The 1920s introduced many great authors into the world of literature. Among one of these authors is F. Scott Fitzgerald, the renowned author of the novel The Great Gatsby. Another great author of the 1920s is Upton Sinclair: the author of the satirical novel Main Street. One of the most renowned American poets also made a splash in the 1920s: Robert Frost. Frost's collection of poems were quite popular in his era.
The 1920s gave birth to a myriad of great pieces of literature such as T.S Eliot's The Waste Land: a poem regarding World War I. Another great piece of literature released in the 1920s is Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises: the text that coined the term the "Lost Generation" for the young survivors of World War I. In Germany 1925, Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf: a text in which he reveals his resentment towards the Jews. In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes what many consider his magnum opus: The Great Gatsby. The literature of the 1920s is immortalized by its popularity in the present and in the past.
Before the 1920s, airplanes were used in World War I for attacking units, but it was not very effective in doing so. During the 20's however, the airplane's popularity soared when the federal government began using airplanes to delivery mail faster. With Air-Mail's popularity, the air transport of goods overshadowed the traditional land transfer. The airplanes later took on a more precious cargo: people. Initially, only the wealthy could afford airplane travel, but as it became more common, prices fell and more Americans were able to afford airfare.
The 1920s did not see many electronic luxurious items in its decade. The majority of items were home appliances such as washing machines and vacuum machines. The radio, as previously mentioned, was a form of entertainment for many Americans in that decade. The prices of household electronics were relatively cheaper then than their upgrades are worth now. A washing machine in the 1920s could be bought for about $82.00. The television was a concept touched in the twenties, but its primordial form only showed a silhouette of the object shown.
Thanks to the growing use of magazines, radio, and automobiles, advertizing reached a new height in the 1920s. Advertisers would see how many people heard the radio and read magazines such as the Ladies' Home Journal, so they cleverly thought to advertise where the people would definitely see it: the media. Aside from radios and magazines, the rising popularity of automobiles made advertisement billboards more common. The practice of including advertisements in the media later becomes a commonplace practice.
In the 1920s, many Americans could not resist purchasing luxury goods with the aid of installment plans. With installment plans, one did not have to pay the full price of an item at once, but in smaller payments over a period of time. This enabled many to buy items such as pianos, automobiles, and homes which they could not afford. But due to the purchasing of items beyond one' economic ability, the economy began to wither and crumble into dust, causing the market crash of 1929.
The 1920s saw an overwhelming increase in the popularity of many sports. Swimming, football, golf , boxing, and baseball all became quite popular in that decade. With the explosion of new media and advertising, ameture sporting events grew into colossal professional ones. Due to the large amount of people visiting the events, stadiums were erected and sports stars were well paid. In 1924, the United States participated in the world's first Winter Olympics Games. Athletes such as Babe Ruth became immortalized in this era.
After World War I, many Americans had a surplus of money and invested that economic excess in entertainment. In the 1920s, almost half the homes in the United States has access to a radio. Radio stations would have a national broadcast so that everyone would be able to hear the same news, popular music, and advertisements. Along with popular music on the radio, Broadway performances blossomed , having more than 268 performances in the decade alone. Silent films reached their acme point in the twenties, attracting the attention of thousands upon thousands.
In the 1920s, Broadway musicals were quite popular, attracting many Americans to see their performances. Some performances on Broadway, such as Broadway's The Jazz Singer, used black face: a notorious style of entertainment that utilizes black make up on and exaggerated facial features to mimic an African American. Besides musicals, actors also shared the stage. Initially, performances depicted young ladies as dainty and peasant-like, but with the change in women's image, flappers replaced the image.
Music and Art
Art and music flourished in the 1920s due to the popularization of a wide variety of subjects. In the early 1920s, the surrealism art movement began: a movement in which art did not necessarily have to literally represent a subject, but it was a way for the artist to express him or herself. A great example of this is Pablo Picasso's Three Musicians (1921). In the 1920s, jazz music became increasingly popular. Jazz's genesis is from African American culture and made it's way into American popular music. The blending of cultures such as the introduction of guitar and violin to jazz music increased the American popularity for jazz music.