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The Best of the 1920s

By Shelby Burr


Did you know that with the invention of the radio, movies, and mass produced consumer goods, the 1920s became a time of mass culture. Everyone listened to the same radio shows, watched all the same movies and bought all the same products. 


The emergence of cinemas competed with the older vaudeville shows which had been the biggest source of entertainment before movies came along, as far back as the 1910s. The only thing was that movies were all silent, giving vaudeville shows an advantage. BUT, everything changed when the first films with sound emerged at the end of the 1920s!


Let’s crank up that jazz music! Jazz became very popular across the United States. People listened to it on the radio and heard it live! They would dance, laugh and be merry. This was one of their main forms of entertainment in the 1920s - dance clubs. 


Do you know what flappers are? Women began to proclaim their freedom by fashioning themselves after the flappers. They sported dresses with shortened hemlines, showed off their rolled stockings, had short, bobbed hair and painted their cheeks and lips with rouge and lipstick! Way to go ladies. Own the dance floor, own the 1920s. 


Although dancing and jazz clubs were hopping, the alcoholic beverages were not. IT was illegal to have any booze from the 1920s to 1933 (the production, importation, sale and transport). This was the Prohibition, brought by a union of various religious and social groups working together to end alcoholism. 


Who wants peanuts and cracker jacks?! The most famous athlete of the 1920s was baseball legend Babe Ruth! His incredible talent included home runs after home runs, and setting new records which weren’t broken for decades afterwards.

Finding Cures

Alexander Fleming discovered that a petri dish in his lab had been contaminated. There was a mold growth on the sample, preventing it from growing. This lead to the discovery of penicillin, used around the world to save thousands of lives from deadly infections. This all happened in 1928!

One more time for the Ladies!

After FINALLY getting the right to vote after World War 1, women also began entering the legal industry, getting their degrees to work as lawyers. There were barriers and hills to climb before they could actually practice law, but here we are today with strong, intelligent and powerful women running the show!

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