1920's Website / Summary

By Sara R.

1920’s WEBSITE- SUMMARY

  • The Twenties:
  • rapid changing lifestyles,
  • financial excesses,
  • fast pace of technological progress.
  • A Historical Snapshot of Life in the 1920’s.

    Architecture

  • Introduction of low-cost houses
  • New materials and building methods
  • Sleeping-porch- A suitable sleeping environment in Summer and Winter
  • The Breakfast Nook- A space-saving eating area
  • The improvement of the Bungalow
  • The Skyscraper and the invention of the elevator
  • Army, Navy, Airforce

  • World War I: benefits of air power
  • Radio-controlled battleships-test aerial bombing attacks
  • The aircraft carrier- a new type of ship
  • Lexington and Saratoga
  • Art

  • Surrealism and art deco
  • Surrealism: automatic drawing and painting, decalcomania, frottage, fumage, grattage and parsemage
  • Art deco- affected architecture. They used materials such as: aluminium, stainless steel, lacquer, inlaid wood, sharkskin and zebraskin. The use of zigzag and stepped forms, sweeping curves, chevron patterns, sunburst motif. American artists who were remarkable: Maxfield Parrish and C. Coles Phillips
  • Automobiles

  • Growing of automobile industry - Henry Ford
  • Introduction of a tax on gas- In order to mantain roads suitable
  • Redesigning of roads -wooden roads to accomodate the car-New rules and methods of controlling traffic
  • Touring vacations
  • Motoring event 1927: New Ford: The Model A. - Replaced the Model T
  • Cars used in advertisements and magazines- Using women as an attraction. By the 20 Century, cars improved their conditions. -Hybrid fuel and electric cars
  • Aviation

  • New planes, dirigibles and flight records
  • From wood and canvas material to metal parts and panels. – Evolution of aeroplanes
  • By 1929, a few principal airports had passenger terminals
  • To make long distances due to the new potentials of the aeroplane
  • The first transatlantic: Alcock and Brown- First non-stop flight
  • Charles Lindbergh-first pilot to fly solo –Flying from NY to Paris
  • Amelia Earhart: first female pilot – She crossed the Atlantic and English Channel
  • Business and Economy

  • Easy money- Spending spree
  • The increase of patents
  • New business and production methods-Large profits and, as a consequence, new factories and wage rises.
  • Discount grocery stores- Henry Ford
  • Increase of income- Consumer spending
  • Movement from rural areas to the city. – Farmers formed corporations
  • Introduction by partial payment and then buying on tick-due to the big amount of debts
  • Growth of millionaires. – who splurged on apartments on Park Avenue
  • High Financial transactions. - dollar bills wore out faster
  • Wall Street and the Bank grow faster than expected
  • The potential market in China and the exportation of kerosene and cigarettes was a great opportunity for American businesses.
  • Crafts

  • Handscraft passed from mother to daughter
  • Girls were trained by their mothers
  • Interests in: beading, pyrography, stenciling, china painting, leather craft, sealing wax art, weaving and window transparencies, how to make paper flowers.
  • Mens and boys hobbies: woodwork and metalwork, building radio, and other inventions – thanks to books and magazines “build it yourself” every men became an inventor.
  • Dance

  • Tango and Charleston dance –introduced in 1923, ‘Ziegfield Follies’
  • Tango and Waltz- Scandalous dances. It involved physical contact
  • Lindy Hop- swinging- partner into the air and jumping
  • Fox-trot
  • These dances were famous in movies and people imitated them. Also, in magazines and books
  • Drapery

    House and apartments drapery:

  • Living-room: ruffled, tie-back curtains, scrim glass curtains with cretonne and simple furniture.
  • Drawing rooms: simplicity, colorful, insconspicous design make the drapery.
  • Libraries: straight hanging draperies without valances or fixtures. Dens: it is a retreat for a study. It must be intimate, simple, easy to keep in condition and expressive.
  • Foyers and entrance halls: The window of foyers or entrance halls should be in key with the rooms they adjoin.
  • Bedrooms: it should look cozy and restful. Bedrooms must have draperies that can be cleaned easily.
  • Nurseries: children's room should be appropriate, delicate, designing simple and amusing furnishing. - These are the most important.
  • Fashion

  • 1920's dresses were lighter, brighter and shorter than ever before.
  • Fashion designers played with textures, fabric colours and patterns to create new styles of dress. Evening dresses, coats ands jackets were trimmed with fur. Shoes and stockings of all colours.
  • Women turned to fashion as a vocation in order to support their families or to earn extra-income to spend on the new luxuries.
  • Pansuits, hats and canes were popular and this style was named: La garconne by Victor Margueritte. In Europe, this look featured women with short hair. This bob hair was introduced for the first time by Louise Brooks
  • The hairstyle: Hollywood's hairstyles were copied by women but also de Marcel wave and the permanent waving
  • Underwear: it became more flexible and modern style bras were introduced. This new bra provided shape and support
  • Food

  • Food was cheap. -It consisted on potatoes and meat -mostly.
  • Vitamin's began to be discovered from 1912- but people started to drink fresh juice during the 20's.
  • The increase of sugar, fruit and processed food reduced the amount of time been taken up in peeling, cutting and grinding.
  • Condiments introduced by inmigrants
  • The use of food storage rooms
  • The Woman Institute of Domestic Arts- A very popular Course where many women got enrolled
  • During the Depression a cheap source of meat was rabbits
  • Some of the manufactured food introduced during the Twenties was: Yo-hoo Chocolate drink (1923), Peter Pan Peanut Butter (1928), Velveeta Cheese (1928) and Wheaties (1924)
  • Some famous companies during this age were: Birdseye- deep-froze food and Horn and Hardart-Fast food industry.
  • Gardening:

    • Suitable, agreeable and comfortable composition- The garden
    • The lawn furnishes the settings for a house and, if it is trim, smooth, and of a healthy green- The lawn
    • The use of paths-stones
    • Selection of plant material and its arrangement
    • Vegetable and fruit garden- Those varieties which produce a maximun amount of fruit in a minimun of space
    • Trees, shrubs and cover plants
    • The Greenhouse

    Hairstyles:

    • Vintage hairstyles: the Marcel wave and the fingerwaving
    • The bob
    • Shingling and layering were turned into an art form - beautiful coiffures to accentuate their natural charm.

    Jewelry:

    • The Art Nouveau Movement- from rubies, gold, platinum
    • Trendsetting designers: Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli
    • Inspiration came from Egypt, China, Japan, and nature
    • Jewelry around neck and wrists
    • Jewelry as decoration-upper classes
    • Plastic Jewelry- Simplicity and lightness
    • Gruen Guild Watches and Elgin Watches- Expensive tastes in 1920's jewelry

    Health:

    • The discovery of vitamins led to the increasing knowledge of hormones and body chemistry
    • Sulfa drugs became the first of the anti-bacterial wonder drugs
    • Herbert McLean Evans: discovered vitamin E and its anti-sterility properties
    • Elmer V. McCollum: discovered vitamin D, its presence in cod liver and its ability to prevent rickets
    • Frederick Bantin:discovered insulin
    • Karl Landsteiner: discovery of blood groups
    • Willen Einthoven: the creator of the electrocardiogram
    • Penicillin: Ernest Duchesne, Alexander Fleming, Howard Walter Florey

    Law and Order:

    • Criminals made huge profits by selling illegal alcohol
    • Crime gangs fought each other to protect or expand their territories
    • Al Capone the most notorious gang
    • Record number of murders: 1. JacksonVille, Fla- 76,9%. 2. Tampa, Fla- 67,6 3. Birmingham, Ala 58,8.

    Literature:

    • Reading was important during the Winter months
    • Knowledge of the Classics- an essential part of Education
    • Well-rounded home library- a sound investment
    • Magazines of the period- full of stories or serials
    • Books that were popular among young children: "The Little Red Hen" and "Little Black Sambo"
    • Winners of Nobel Prize of Literature: Knut Hamsun- Norway, 1920. Jacinto Benavente- Spain, 1922. Thomas Mann- Germany, 1929.
    • Books that define the period: The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald- The American Dream that anyone can achieve anything.

    Movies:

    • Silent movies
    • 1923: films with synchronised sounds
    • The first movie theatres were called: Nickelodeons
    • 1927: research into synchronised sound started to pay-off and new talking technology pictures saw the light of the day. Hollywood become the center of movie-making-800 films were produced anually.
    • Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin-stardom
    • The french model of commercial movie became the international model
    • By the end of the 1920, the silent movie era was over

    Music:

    • Jazz, ragtime and broadway musicals -popular
    • Jazz was considered the devils music by diverse segments of the American public
    • Music critic: Ernest Newman-debunked jazz in a 1927 magazine and Paul Whiteman- Jazz was a musical force
    • 1920's Broadway prime years, with over 50 new musical opening in just one season. Artistic developments in artistic developments
    • Eg of Broadway Musical: Sally and No, No Nanete

    Politics:

    • The threat of communism, facism and socialism
    • Benefits of democracy over fascism
    • Reduction in taxes
    • Illegal inmigrants seeking a better life
    • 18th Amendment- Prohibition of Alcohol
    • U.S.politics, 1920, 1924 and 1928 elections: end labor problems, racial strife, less immigration, conservative politics, a return to christian values. Influence of UK politics, Italian politics, Indian politics and German politics.

    Prohibition:

    • Lower crime and corruption
    • Reduce social problems
    • Improve health and hygiene
    • The 18th Amendment: Women's Christian Temperance Union- it would protect families & children from the effects of alcohol.
    • Though alcohol was illegal, people could get alcohol from speakeasies
    • Legal and illegal homebrewing was popular during Prohibition. Limited amounts of wine and hard cider were permitted to be made at home
    • Side-effects of Prohibition: alcoholic poisoning- death increased dramatically
    • Whiskey-obtained by prescription from medical doctors-medicinal purposes
    • Prohibition- organized crime to take over the importing bootlegging, manufacturing and distributing drinks- Al Capone
    • The American grape growing industry located in California

    Religion:

    • War: believe in God- opposition-communism
    • The Lambeth proposal: priests of the Anglican and Greek Catholic churches would be accepted as priests of the Anglican church if their own communions would reciprocate
    • Scientific discoveries and theories- caused doubts on the Bible
    • Educational institutions promoted scientific learning
    • Debate between science or religion
    • Atheism, agnosticism, science and religion

    Science:

    • Labor saving: electric irons, refrigerators, air-conditioners, radio, TV, vacuum cleaners
    • Instalment payment plans- expanding retail market
    • Radio Control Bill- Many people listening the radio
    • Discovery of vitamin E, C, and penicillin and insulin
    • Atomic and sub-atomic particles- weapons
    • 1926, Robert Hutchings Goddard- the first person to launch a liquid-fuel rocket
    • Winners of Nobel Prize in Physics: Einstein (1921)-Germany, Charles Thompson Rees Wilson- Scotland, etc.

    Sport:

    • Baseball, tennis, boxing, golf, swimming and football
    • Leagues organized and an increased in salaries for these stars
    • Babe Ruth- Baseball
    • Jack Dempsey- Boxing
    • Johny Weissmuller- Swimming
    • Knute Rockne and Red Grange- Football
    • Helen Wills- Tennis
    • Glenna Collett- Golf

    Toys:

    • Germany shipping large quantities of toys to America
    • Vehicle toys- Buddy L, Tootsie and Wyandotte
    • Dolls- Effanbee, Schoenhut

    Travel and transportation:

    • Sunny California- colder states
    • Trains and ocean liners- Principle transportation
    • Enlargement of the Channel Suez- Mass transportation of ships
    • Air travel- in its infancy- speeding communications
    • First commercial air passenger- Germany: “Graf Zeppelin”, October 1928 with 20 passengers
    • Businessmen, tourists and entertainers on tour