What do you know about the 1920s? You’re probably familiar with the nicknames ‘Roaring 20s’ and ‘Jazz Age’. The term Jazz Age was popularized by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald who was best known for his novels portraying the flashiness and sensibility of the 1920s.
But did you know that Agatha Christie’s mega-famous creation Hercule Poirot was born in 1920? Let’s put Hercule Poirot’s methods into good use by establishing order and method and engaging our little grey cells and solve the mysteries of this decade through these interesting facts about the 1920s…
Prohibition went into effect about a hundred years ago which led to the rise of speakeasies strongly impacting American culture and society.
In the past 100 years, our lives have been changed drastically. Life in the 1920s was pretty different than today.
In the 1920s there were many extraordinary artistic, cultural, and technological advancements.
With the Roaring ’20s came a new era of automobile advancements. This led to the rise of stylish vehicles that became an iconic part of the decade.
This made the 1920s incredibly influential in the development of the automobile industry.
Sold until 1927 the Model T vehicle by the Ford Motor Company pretty much defined the 1920s.
The affordable car helped rural Americans connect to other parts of the country. This led to the creation of the numbered highway system throughout the US that’s still known today.
In the world of fashion luxe fabrics, flapper girl silhouettes, and the art-deco style dominated.
Fashion was characterized by loose fabrics, fringe, and glamorous details. The garments differed immensely from the street style-inspired looks that are popular today.
The Mayflower club, a speakeasy in D.C. serving liquor and a place for gambling
According to fashion historians, because trends are cyclical, it is very likely that ’20s-inspired clothing will make a comeback again.
Under Prohibition, effective from 1920 and through to 1933, the USA banned alcohol manufacture, sale, and transportation. This law gave way and “inspired” organized crime and speakeasies.
Speakeasies were secret bars where people could drink in private.
The jazz age was indirectly powered by prohibition of alcohol. In Chicago, the jazz scene was developing quite fast, especially with the immigration of over 40 famous New Orleans jazzmen to the city.
Al Capone was one of the men who came to power in the criminal underworld during Prohibition, fighting viciously to make Chicago his domain.
Until 1920, suffragettes-members of an activist woman’s organisation rallied for women’s voting rights in America.
A sample prescription from the 1920s
With the 19th Amendment, women were granted the right to vote on August 18, 1920.
In the 1920s, prescriptions could be picked up not only in drugstores but also on soda and candy counters.
Drugstores were also considered as central gathering spots in the community.
Customers could sit at the counter of a pharmacy and enjoy a root beer float or an egg cream in the 1920s-era pharmacy. These pharmacies were decorated with marble countertops and beautiful light fixtures.
1920s schools for young students were typically large classrooms that fit as many pupils as possible.
In the 1920s, more teachers and executives began to support “progressive” schools that were built to house programs allowing more open-air, light, and access to outside activities.
The Roaring ’20s evidenced the birth of many historical figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, born in 1926.
A song in the Broadway show “Runnin’ Wild” was the beginning of the famous Charleston dance.
As the popularity of “moving pictures” matured in the early 1920s, movie “palaces” capable of seating thousands were launched in major cities.
A ticket for a double feature and a live show cost 25 cents enabling Americans to escape from their problems and lose themselves in the magic of film.
The movies were attended far more than today. People were often going more than once per week.
By the end of the decade, weekly movie attendance increased to 90 million people.
Charlie Chaplin in the Tramp
The rise to the first generation of movie stars happened with the silent movies of the early 1920s.
Charlie Chaplin captured the attention of the American viewing public more than any other star. Chaplin was the top box office attraction of his time known for his sad-eyes moustache, baggy pants, and his cane.
The world of the silent movie began to fade away with the New York release of the first “talkie”—The Jazz Singer In 1927.
One important factor that made the Twenties roar was the enlarged economic power of the middle class.
The automobile, film, radio, and chemical industries hit never-before-seen levels of success due to mass production allowing greater supply for a greater demand.
The 1920s oversaw a massive construction of roads, highways, and bridges to give motorists more places to drive and accommodate all the new cars.
Alexander Fleming, founder of penicillin
Baseball legend Babe Ruth, also known as the Bambino was the most famous athlete of the 1920s. Ruth’s high-profile lifestyle pulled so much more attention to himself, beginning a dynasty for the New York Yankees.
The American aviator Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to achieve a non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean flying for 33.5 hours in a single-engine airplane called the “Spirit of St. Louis”. In 1927 he was awarded the French Legion of Honur and the Distinguished Flying Cross for this great achievement.
Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. Penicillin is still used around the world today to save thousands of lives from lethal infections.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about the 1920s that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!