The Twenties Essay, Research Paper
The twenties is a time when some of the biggest changes in American history took place. In the following report I am going to tell about some of the most important and influential moments of the time period called the twenties.
First I will start by telling you about Americans as consumers. The twenties brought a new standard of living. Between 1923 and 1929 Americans saw their wages make an increase of 11%. Some of the jobs that saw the pay increase were mining, public education, and manufacturing. For the first time people could actually buy something other than necessities and it was a good time time because many new inventions came out in this period of time. The refrigerator is a important one because it gave a rise to the amount of food products that would be available. But through all this good that was coming out was the poor,++poverty in the midst of plenty++. A industry that was hit probably the hardest was agriculture when prices plummeted.
But the most defining event of the twenties was the way Americans took to the road. If one thing defined the twenties it was the automobile. In the world, Americans owned 4/5 of the automobiles, while 1/5.3 Americans owned an automobile. You could buy a new car in the twenties for under $300. In 1925 they were just coming out with lacquer finishes which meant new stylish colors anywhere form Arabian Sand- Versailles Violet. Also cars were now being bought in installments instead of all of it up front.
Another big event in the twenties can best be described as selling America. America was now using credit to buy items they used to have all the money for at once, this can also be called an installment plan. Some items that were purchased using this method was furniture, phonographs, washing machines, and radios. The first department stores where could buy the items were JC Penney, Sears, Roebuck. In 1918 there were 29,000 such stores and in 1929 there were 160,000 stores. Woolworth was a innovative new idea everything under 10 cents like post cards. This is the time when advertising flourished with the help of the explosion of mass media.
The twenties may have had cars and advertising but Youth set the scene. Automobiles gave youth a independence from their family. Mass media made youth the best selling images of the twenties. Advertisers targeted there campaigns toward young people. With this came all sorts of fads which spread from college campuses to the public. Some fads were the yellow rain slicker for women while the raccoon coats and golf stockings were made popular with men. The 1920+s brought on a common culture+. The Gibson Girl which was the ideal girl before the war became known as the flapper in the 20+s. The flapper loosened her blouse and dropped the waist of her pants, she lifted her hemline, and rolled down her stockings. It was also becoming fashionable to where new materials such as silk or rayon instead of the traditional cotton or wool. Unlike the Gibson Girl the Flapper drank, smoked, left their corset in the cloakroom at dances, and took joyrides in automobiles.