A Third

Shift from to electricity helped double productivity

Production shifted from war goods (steel & oil) to consumer goods (appliances, furnishings, cars, motion pictures, etc.)

Ford pioneered assembly line - cut time from 12+ hour to 2- hour production time

Ford increased workers’ pay to $5.00/day. Assembly line work caused discontent and there was a lot of turnover, so he gave them a raise so they would stay AND they would be able to afford cars and other products.

Auto makers pioneered “buying on credit.”

“Buy now pay later” becoming a way of life.

Alfred Sloan - GM applied fashion industry standards to car industry - different styles & prices

By 1930 - owned 8 out of 10 cars in world.


By 1920, for the first time in history, more Americans lived in cities rather than country.

Society built up around the automobile.

Suburbs developed primarily due to the automobile.

Automobile allowed for private mode for transportation & private lifestyle. Mass transit decreased to some degree because of the availability of the car.

Cities were the center of the new mass consumer culture.

The Revolution in Manners & Morals

1920 19th Amendment ratified

Flappers - Numbers of women graduating from high school and attending college increased Women were living away from their families, played sports, increasingly threw off restraints of earlier .... Looser clothing, cut hair, went to , drank .

The Electrical Home

Electricity was a breakthrough in the 20s.

Farmers still didn’t have electric... Some had to wait until end of 1930s.

Electricity allowed for lights & appliances.

Nature of women’s work changed - electric appliances helped make some work easier and for sure changed the way they did household chores

Manufacturers started marketing to women because they were buying the products for the home.

Advertising & the Promise of Happiness

Advertising “educated” Americans about the new wave of consumer products.

Radio, newspaper, and magazine ads

Producing so many goods that there were not enough customers, so companies started boosting advertising.

With the help of psychologists, advertisers tapped into unconscious fears, urges, and desires.

The Beauty Industries

Simple affordable fashions could be bought in department stores.

Advertising was geared toward making a woman feel guilty - advertising for cosmetics - Are you beautiful enough for your husband? Hair dye, lipstick, make up, etc.

Magazines, beauty contests, movies and models provided role models for Americans. Clara Beau

The Silver Screen

Charlie Chaplin Clara Beau

People mimicked those (actors & actresses) in movies; Movie stars were emulated by Americans.

Movies were actually pretty controversial Thumbing nose at authority Dancing & flirting Making women swoon with smoldering, passionate gazes

By the , movies were the most powerful and influential medium of culture in the US... Provided role models in mass culture society.... Provided the images of mass culture society.

Movies gave Americans heroes and role models for masculinity and beauty.

The Age

Jazz provided the sound of mass culture society.

Started in New Orleans and moved all the way to NYC (Harlem) New Orleans — Kansas City ---- ---- Harlem

Harlem - Largest black community in country

Marcus Garvey - Universal Negro Improvement Association (largest black organization in the country) - Economic independence, black pride - appealed to working class African Americans

Harlem center of “new negro” - Prosperous African American city dwellers

Harlem Renaissance - Flowering of African American arts & culture

Langston Hughes - Poet & novelist

Radio broadcast live from the -

Shuffle Along - First black Musical/Play to make it on Broadway

Bessie Smith (Empress of the ) - Blues - sang about the hardships, love lost, and difficulties of being black

White musicians also took up jazz and blues

Young Americans embraced it as their own. Critics thought jazz was inducing Americans into temptation & sin.... The US is becoming a nation of law-breakers. (This comes with rock-n-roll and rap later, too.)

Prohibition January 1, 1920 - (18th Amendment) began.

At first Americans drank less, but the “noble experiment” broke down. Too hard to enforce increased More and more people began to break the law

The majority of Americans were traditionalists – God fearing Protestants — and feared the erosion of American values.

Nativists & Fundamentalists

WWI brought out fear of foreigners. Rise of hostility and violence

KKK revived Accused Catholics (1/3 of country at time) of putting allegiance to the Pope above their country They said Jews dominated motion pics, popular music, and bootlegging. Strong in the Midwest By 1923 KKK controlled 3 state governments and had 5 million members.

Congress passed immigration laws that favored Europeans/whites. Restricted numbers of immigrants from Europe and virtually banned immigrants from Asia.

Not much said about Hemisphere Mexicans still coming over

Nation splitting in two: Fundamentalists vs. Traditionalists Summer 1925 - Dayton, TN - Teaching of Evolution outlawed; John Scopes taught it anyway... He got arrested. - Prosecuting Attorney Clarence Darrow - Defense Attorney “Monkey Trial” Darrow’s cross-examination made Bryan (State’s Attorney) look foolish

The of Sports

1926 and Gene Tunney fight equals clash of cultures (Heavyweight Championship of the World) Fight hosted in Philadelphia Dempsey - Came from the West; traditionalist; Protestant; fundamentalist; small town traditional American values Tunney - Modernist; city slicker; married a debutante

Bill Tilden - Tennis - Galloping Ghost – - Football (College then professional) - Baseball

Lucky Lindy

Charles Lindbergh - flew solo, non-stop across the Atlantic in 1927

Heroes like Babe Ruth & Charles Lindebergh brought out

The Coming of the

Causes that led to crash: Growing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands; Cut backs in Industrial Production; Binge in speculative investments

October 29, 1929 - - Great Depression started - Beginning of most prolonged economic crisis in US History.