In the 1920's, American technology and sources of entertainment changed drastically. There were new inventions such as the radio and new forms of travel, such as the Model T, a car made by Ford at a low price. Also, America became a more urbanized country, people began to move into major cities, instead of living in small villages and farms.
Finally, there were many new fads and crazes, that swept the nation. Some of these new fads were Mahjong tiles. Throughout the 20's, America was in a time of prosperity and happiness.

Kelly Air Mail Act: Law passed in 1927 that made airlines carry US mail on the flights. This made coast to coast mail a lot faster than it used to be.

Urbanization: During the Roaring 20's many people migrated from rural areas to big cities, hoping to find jobs there.

Assembly Line: Henry Ford used this to make the production of cars a lot quicker, which lowered the price of cars. The assembly line was a belt with a car on it, and when it went by a worker, the worker put a single piece onto the car.

Fad: An activity or passion that is taken up by many people, but only for a short period of time, then it dies down.

Flappers: Young women in the 1920's who tried all the newest fads and crazes. They helped change how women were portrayed in the 1920's.

1920's Birth of Commercial Flight - Ryan

In 1918, the Air Mail service was established in America. The plane engines had progressed greatly due to the need for planes in World War I, and the Post Office created a coast-to coast air mail network. This was a chain of planes that would get mail around the country as fast as possible. An map of the air mail routes is shown below. Also in the 1920’s ,many of the first commercial airlines were established. The government decided that airlines would profit the economy, and airplanes could move something like mail a lot faster. Then, they passed the Kelly Air Mail Act in 1927. This law forced commercial airlines carry United States mail when they carried people. This cut the delivery time of coast-to-coast mail to less than 22 hours. In the 1920’s, the Air Mail service was delivering over 14 million letters and flying over 2.5million miles per year. The first five airlines to get contracts from the Air Mail Service were National Air Transport, Varney Airlines, Western Air Express, Colonial Air Transport, and Robertson Aircraft Corporation. These airlines, which started out only carrying mail, eventually grew into carrying cargo, and then passengers. Also, many pilots became famous for their feats in an airplane. Some examples are Charles Lindbergh, Emelia Earhart. These people were he first to cross the Atlantic and accomplished other signficant challenges and tasks. Air planes were one of the industries that profited the most duing the Roaring 20's.

The original airmail route.
The original airmail route.

A promotion for one of the first airplines.
A promotion for one of the first airplines.


Edelen, Annamarie. "aviation, 1903–1934." In Faue, Elizabeth, and Gary B. Nash, eds. Encyclopedia of American History: The Emergence of Modern America, 1900 to 1928, Revised Edition (Volume VII). New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2010. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ItemID=WE52&iPin=EAHVII022&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 15, 2011

Airmail Routes in the United States." American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ItemID=WE52&iPin=AMHC4125&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 15, 2011).

Picture Sources:

Airline Promotion -,_1920s-SPL.jpg?id=863200173
Airmail Routes -

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During the Roaring 20’s many people moved into big cities across the United States. In 1900 39.7% of Americans lived in big cities. In 1930 53.6% of Americans lived in cities. Also from 1900-1930 the United States population increased a total of 61.6%, while the urban population increased 128.8%. This burst in big city population happened because of several reasons.

One reason for this was because of the farming industry going downhill. Rural birthrates increased while the need for farm labor was decreasing. New machines and mechanisms made farming a lot easier and faster, so fewer farmers were needed. Many faced economically tough times, which led them to migrating to big cities. They hoped to find work, and new lives in cities.

Another big reason for increase in urban population was the Great Migration. Most of the men in cities had to go fight in World War I, which left industries in the North needing workers. The big industries called for African Americans in the South to move to the North to work for them. Many of them answered the call to work for them, to work and make money, and to escape segregation in the South. When all the soldiers from WWI came back to the States, there was a lot of racism towards the African Americans in the North working in factories.
Mulberry Street, NYC, 1920

Hartman, Michael. "urban life, 1890–1930." In Faue, Elizabeth, and Gary B. Nash, eds. Encyclopedia of American History: The Emergence of Modern America, 1900 to 1928, Revised Edition (Volume VII). New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2010. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ItemID=WE52&iPin=EAHVII045&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 14, 2011).
Creating America. 'Ed'. Jesus Garcia. Boston: McDougal Littell, 2003. Print.


"1900-1920." Web. 14 Mar 2011. <>.

"10Largest Cities 1900." Web. 14 Mar 2011. <>.

Cars and Highways In the 1920’s


In the early 1900’s cars were made one at a time. They were typically sold to rich people because they were the only ones that could buy them. Many companies were making these cars but most of these companies disappeared by the 1920’s. For a brief period in time after World War II three companies made cars. These three companies were General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. They controlled about 90 percent of the U.S market. Motor vehicle sales grew rapidly in the United States during the first decade of the 20th century. Other countries also sold many cars in the States.

There were many companies that had built cars but only few had succeeded. Southeastern Michigan had quickly risen to the top in auto production in the early 20th century. There were 4,000 motor vehicles sold in the United States in 1900, 40 percent were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity and only 22 percent by gasoline.

Highways in the 1920’s cost the majority amount of money spent because before cars were invented people used horse and buggy and they didn’t need roads all they needed was dirt for the horses. It cost so much because they needed to make highways, roads and streets and even driveways.


Works cited

Rubenstein, James M. "automotive industry." In Geisst, Charles, ed. Encyclopedia of American Business History. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ItemID=WE52&iPin=EABH0011&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 14, 2011).

Creating America.’Ed.’ Jesus Garcia. Boston:Mcdougal Littell,2003.Print
Picture works cited
"New Public Construction in the United States, in Millions of Dollars." American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ItemID=WE52&iPin=AHI5503&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 14, 2011).
"Crossley 25/30." Crossley Cars in the 1920's. Web. 15 Mar 2011.
"Crossley 18/50." Crossley Cars in the 1920. Web. 15 Mar 2011.



Mahjong tiles were an ancient Chinese game. Mahjong tiles were a combination of dominoes and dice. By 1927 Mahjong was old and a new fad was needed. Dancers competed for thousands of dollars. Pairs would drag themselves around the dance floor with blistered feet and aching backs just to win. One man even dropped dead on the floor after 87 hours of continual dancing. At Syracuse dancing had been banned but at Notre Dame it was mandatory for the basketball team to take dancing lessons. To keep themselves awake some smelled salts and using ice packs. Some soaked their feet in vinegar and brine for three weeks, so that they couldn’t feel anything. The latest puzzle game after mahjong tiles was crossword puzzles. After two young American publishers brought out a book of crosswords with a pencil attached, everyone was wild for crosswords. Dictionaries were being sold by the thousands, and some railways even provided them to help travellers solve crossword puzzles during their trips. Flagpole sitting began when someone dared stuntman Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly. Kelly climbed on top of a specially prepared flagpole with a seat attached at the Glenn Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island. He stayed there for four days and nights. Many people heard about Kelly’s flagpole stunt and soon everybody began sitting on flagpoles. Kelly still has the record today for sitting on a flagpole for 49 days.

Mhajong Tiles
A woman has passed out after dancing for many days straight


Hagen, Barbara. "Please take a seat.(Alvin Shipwreck Kelly achievements on a flag pole)(Brief article)." Cobblestone Apr. 2006: 17. General OneFile. Web. 14 Mar. 2011.

Creating America A history of the United States. Garcia, Jesus. Boston: McDougal Littel, 2003. Print.