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Culture: 1940's


Erica Sadie

on 20 January 2012

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Transcript of Culture: 1940's

Culture in the 1940's Fashion Music Recreation/Leisure Polotics Economy Values Food Technology During World War II The number of women in the work force rose from 25% to 36% from 1940-1945

Women had to take on mens industrial jobs such as working in steel plants, shipyards and lumber mills

Once the war ended men took back their jobs and the women were forced to go back to their "female" jobs like nursing, and secretarial work Jim Crow Laws and segregation forbade African Americans to interact with whites in many settings. Black and white children attended separate schools. In many places drinking fountains, lunch counters and laundromats were segregated (especially in the south).

Ex. Intermarrige between whites and blacks was phrohibited, Blacks could not used the same hearses as whites, books were not interchangable between black and white schools, interracial adoptions were banned.

In the 1940's blacks did not have the same rights as whites. Employers could legally refuse blacks as well as Landlords could refuse to rent houses to black's. Blacks and whites would live in separate neighborhoods. Blacks were also denied the right to register to vote.

View of Women View of African Americans Slang of the 40's Examples

"Bum rap – This referred to a false accusation.
Bust your chops – This phrase was basically meant as a scolding, maybe to yell, but not to literally hit someone.
Buzz – We still use this word today and it still refers to being tipsy.
Call girl – This is another phrase that is used today. Back in the 1940s it referred to a by appointment only prostitute. Today it still refers to a prostitute, however more of an upscale prostitute.
Cheesy – Yet another word that has managed to stay in contemporary vernacular. Back in the 1940s it meant cheap.
Chicken – In the 1940s this word referred to a person who was being a coward about something. Today it still means the same thing.
Chrome-dome – This used to be an offensive word for a bald headed man. While “chrome-dome” is not exclusively used to refer to any bald man, the word “dome” still refers to the head.
Cold – In the 1940s this word referred to leads that could no longer be pursued. Today it remains in contemporary vernacular meaning the same thing.
Cracks me up – This means to make someone laugh.
Dope – Back in the 1940s this word meant information, however now it is another word for drugs.
Drop – This word meant to kill.
Fat-head – In the 1940s people called stupid or foolish people a fat-head.
Fix –This word is sometimes still used today, and it means a dose of drugs (mainly narcotics); in the 1940s it was used when referencing drug fiends.
Geezer – This word was a derogatory term for an older person.
Gas – No this was not what you put in your car, it was however a word used to refer to either a good time or something that was really funny." This list was pulled from http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/slang/1940s-slang.html 40's Movments What was important to the American people? War Efforts

U.S. Draft Bill enacted in 1940-

Men betweeen the ages of 21 and 35 registered

9,837,610 drafted between 1940 and1945 This was the time when the baby boom started. So many soldiers were coming back from war, getting married, and having families. The next generation to come would be much larger than the generation of their parents. Baby booming started in the forties and lasted through the sixties.

Will The Baby Boomers Wreck The Market?

There's no question that the Baby Boom generation has had a major effect on the US economy and stock markets since its beginning in 1946. As the oldest Baby Boomers are now reaching ages 60-70, the question now becomes what effect will their eventual retirement have on the economy and stock market? Sports

During WWII, it was hard for sports to continue, because all of the strong athletic men were expected to go to war. And many of them did! Baseball players, football players, and boxing stars all left their livelihoods behind them and went off to fight for their country!

Fun Fact: Over four thousand boxers joined the military!

Fun Fact: Basketball teams were less affected by the draft, because the military had height restrictions on the men! They would not accept you if you were to tall; thus basketball teams were left with more of their players than other sports.

Sports team at the college and high school level were cancelled all over the country, due to the draft.

- Roller derby was invented in the 40’s

What type of music was popular? How was the economy at the time? Early 1940’s….
-A time of great opportunity for Americans
-Defense industries boomed, creating more jobs
-The weather was perfect for farming and growing crops which greatly benefited the economy
-Increased amount of jobs in journalism, making war supplies, and farming
Late 1940’s…
-Readjustment stage after the war ended- economy was converted to wartime to peacetime
-10 mil. Women were released from armed forces causing a large unemployment rate
-price of goods went up
- Eventually the US began using their savings from war bonds- all of a sudden the US had money
What was the unemployment rate? In the early 1940’s the unemployment rate was at a low 1.2%
Working rate for women increased to an outstanding 35%
Late 1940’s- 3 mil. People were unemployed after the war ended

Were there any shortages? In the late 1940’s, in order to have an economic readjustment, The price of goods went up along with a shortage of the supplies. Items such as sugar and coffee became increasingly difficult to get How was the tax rate? During 1940-
Top rate for corporate taxes increased to 50%
Reduced personal exemption rate (married couples) to $2,000

By 1948-
Increased taxes on items such as alcohol, jewelry, telephones
The value of personal exemptions were standardized to $500 (per person)
Reduced corp. tax rates (38%)
Reduced individual income tax rates to 5%- 13%
Married Couples were permitted to spit their incomes for taxes
By Erica Fuller, Rebecca Gordon, Josh Blow, Therese Bergeron, Gabbi Mantone
Womans Fashion 1940

wide sholdered jackets
high necklines.
knee lenght skirts 1942

A more masculine angular line began which suited the war era where many women stood in for men who were drafted. 1943

fabric had become an expensive commodity
many fabrics and shoes are recycled to be reused.


wide skirts ( due to available fabric)
fabric prices are still high 1947

recycling is still important since the textile industry is not reaching the demand yet.

... and its change over the decade The 40's began with practical styles because of war and ended with more extravagant styles that celebrated the end of strict fabric rationing. Civilian men usually wore plain, functional suits in plain and solid colors like navy or black, with plain white shirts, and very little embellishments. After the war ended, the working man began to wear more elegant suits. Fedora's were also a part of the common fashion. The Zoot Suit
Consisted of a oversized suit jacket with broad sholders and baggy leged pants. It was worn predominately by African-American and Mexican-American youths in the 1940s. It was considered unpatriotic and even illegal because it went so far against the standards of rationing. These suits where generally worn at night clubs. Mens Fashion Alot of music reflected pain of WWII but at the same time portrayed the hope for a victorious future. Dizzy Gillespie (above) was a well known artist. Known for being a Jazz trumpet player who created his own particular sound through his bent trumpet.
Helped create the behop music style which was fast tempo jazz with scat singing. Cab Calloway was a popular Jazz scat singer. The begining of scat is to some thought to have been created when Calloway forgot the words in a performance and improvised with nonsence sylables that went with the music.
The Dorsey Brothers brought a new music style to the 40's. The big band style, a large Jazz band of 12-25 musicians playing different instuments like the saxaphone, trumpet, and trombone.
Prices of foods
Sliced bacon, 59 cents a pound.
Doughnuts, 15 cents per dozen
Grape jam, 35 cents a jar
Ivory soap, 8 cents per bar
Onions, 49 cents for ten pounds
Pork and beans, 29 cents for two cans
Tooth paste, 47 cents Cocktail parties were very popular. Many women hosted wartime events serving hearty meals such as cheese frankfurters, spaghetti with meatballs, or fish steak!

Ovaltine was becoming largely popular. Advertisements suggested things such as "if your child is frail and weak looking, make sure you start giving them extra ovaltine!" Every single person in the United States was somehow affected by the war. One thing that affected most Americans was Food rationing. Food rationing is defined as "The controlled distribution of scarce resources." Something that would be rationed is sugar, or steak. Each family would only get their portion, so that the other families could get their portions as well.

Gasoline became something that had to be rationed in 1942. The government asked people to carpool, and do other things in order to save gas.

Fun Fact: Women were asked to save the excess oils and fats from their cooking, and would sell it back to the butchers, who would then sell it to engineering plants so that they could make bombs from it!
Paper dolls became very popular. Young girls couldnt play with plastic dolls, because plastic was being used specifically for the war effort. So they would make dolls out of paper, and make paper clothes and dresses to place over the dolls. Works Cited
"1940s History including Popular Culture, Prices, Events, Technology and Inventions." Where People, History and Memories Join Together from The People History Site. Web. 07 Jan. 2012. <http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1940s.html>.

"1940's Music Played in the 40's Bands Groups Singers Memories from The People History Site." Where People, History and Memories Join Together from The People History Site. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/40smusic.html>.

"1940s Slang." English Grammar Rules & Usage. Web. 07 Jan. 2012. <http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/slang/1940s-slang.html>.

"American History - Decade 1940 - 1949." LSC-Kingwood Library. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade40.html>.

Danzer, Gerald A. The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.

"Decade by Decade: 1940s - Women of the Century - DiscoverySchool.com." Free Teacher Resources | Discovery Education. Web. 07 Jan. 2012. <http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/womenofthecentury/decadebydecade/1940s.html>.

"Fashion Change 1940-1949." La Couturière Parisienne. Web. 12 Jan. 2012. <http://www.marquise.de/en/themes/timeline/time7.shtml>.

Halbert, Gary D. "Will The Baby Boomers Wreck The Market?" ProFutures Investments - Gary D. Halbert, President. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.profutures.com/article.php/448/>.

"Vintage Food Advertisements of the 1940s." Vintage Ad Browser. Web. 19 Jan. 2012. <http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/food-ads-1940s>.

"War Rationing | 1940s.org | The 1940s - History Fashion Movies Music." 1940s.org | 1940-1949 History Fashion Movies Music. Web. 19 Jan. 2012. <http://1940s.org/history/on-the-homefront/war-ra
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