Modern Living

During the 1920’s, following the end of World War I, American life drastically changed. Americans began to enjoy free time and leisure activities because of new inventions and a strong economy. During this time new fads and crazes came about, cars and highways were created, airplanes changed transportation, and big cities formed.

Charles Lindbergh

Cars and Highways
In the 1920’s, cars had many improvements that made cars better. Many of the automobiles that we assume of as being modern were introduced in the 1920's. The first time cars had all four brakes was in the 1920’s. The cars were very simple, but were a major improvement from the horse and buggy. In 1927, the release of the "new Ford" the Model A, which replaced the long-standing Model T after 18 years of production. The car of the 1920's allowed people to travel much farther than on foot or horse had ever enabled. Henry Ford changed the normal automobile style with his innovative production line techniques. He took the idea of regularity and applied it to creating standard parts for automobile manufacturing. Also, cars could be produced cheaply. The Model T soon became a common sight throughout the US. 16.5 million Model T’s were sold. This created a huge demand for good roads. By the late 1920s, the automobile had established itself as the most recent and most popular method of road transportation.

At the beginning of the century, the supply of good roads was nowhere near the growing demand. Most roads at the time were little more than improved wagon trails. Many of the major highways were actually remainders of old trails, such as the Oregon Trail or Santa Fe Trail. The Lincoln Highway, from New York to San Francisco was the first and by the early 1920s many highway organizations were formed which placed and promoted their own routes. By 1925 there were over 250 named highways. Several problems arose with the named highways. The need for a system of standardized interstate highways had evolved. In the 1920’s, road building was becoming a standardized process.


Sources :
F. Wukovits, John. The 1920's. San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2000. Print.

"" History of the US Highway System. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Mar 2011. <>.

"Anything About Cars." N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Mar 2011. <>.

Fads and Crazes

There were many fads and crazes of the 1920’s, all interesting and different. Some lasted a while, and some only lasted a few years. All over the world, people were trying out new things, starting with America. One of the first fads of the 1920’s was the ancient Chinese game Mahjong. It’s a combination of dice and dominoes. It was so popular; people had “mahjong parties”. People also imported Chinese robes, furniture and decorative items to create a more realistic atmosphere. By 1927, the game mahjong was considered old. Another fad was crossword puzzles. Two young American publishers, Richard Simon and Max Schuster, created the publishing company The Crossword Puzzle Book. They collected crosswords into book, attached with a pencil, and it almost instantly became a bestseller. Dictionaries were being sold by the thousands, and even some railways were providing travelers with crossword puzzles to solve during their trip.Another huge craze or fad of the 1920’s was long races and contests of every kind. The most popular ones people participated in were non-stop kissing, laughing, talking, eating, drinking, flagpole sitting, and rocking chair marathons. Everyone tried to break records. Flagpole sitting was a giant craze. The champion of flagpole sitting was Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly, who perched on a flagpole for 23 days and 7 hours. The biggest marathons were dancing, and people competed for thousands of dollars. A popular dance was the Charleston. Even with blistered feet & aching backs, people would keep trying to win. One man died after 87 hours of continuous dancing. When dancing, people would stay awake by using smelling salts and ice packs, and they would soak their feet in vinegar and brine for 3 weeks so they wouldn’t feel anything. The fashion world also had many fads in it. During the 1920’s, the “flapper” look was incredibly popular. A flapper was a young woman who dressed outrageously. Girls also started cutting their hair shorter, into a “bobbed style.” Men began to have their hair greased down and parted down the middle to imitate movie stars.
majong^^^ dancing marathon^^^ flapper^^^
"Fads, Fashions, and American Influences." Tripod. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Mar 2011.


Web.9Mar2011. <

Web.9Mar2011. <http://upload.wikimediaorg/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Dance_marathon,_1923.jpg.>

During the roaring twenties a new form of building materials came about causing big cities to grow, also known as urbanization. In 1923 hot strip steel was created. During this new process steel was casted in solid block and then squeezed between massive rollers (of different shapes) until it cooled off. This quick and simple method allowed people to create large strips, beams, and girders made out of steel more easily. Another building material that became popular in the 1920’s was reinforced concrete. This entailed pouring concrete into a mold with a framework made of steel rods. Both of these materials made it possible to construct larger and taller skyscrapers faster and cheaper. The Empire State Building and the Chrysler building are two examples of these huge skyscrapers.

Large skyscrapers shot up throughout the country during the late 19chrysler_building.jpg20’s and early 1930’s. New York City was no exception. The 1,050 foot tall, seventy-seven floored, Chrysler Building was built in 1930 costing twenty million dollars. It was (and still is) greatly decorated with various statues and ornaments because assaid he wanted it to be, “A bold structure declaring the glories of the modern age.” While assembling this building the engineers and constructors battled the Bank of Manhattan Trust Company for the title as the tallest building in New York City. Towards the end of the construction the engineers added a needle thin spire and claimed the title of tallest building. However, less than a year later the Empire State building was created.

In 1931, after only one year and forty five days of production the Empire State Building was finished. It is/was one hundred and two floors and 1,250 feet tall, beating the Chrysler Building by two hundred feet. The building cost forty one million dollars, took three thousand workers, and sixty thousand tons of steel. It was engineered by H.G. Malcom. During construction the building design changed sixteen times! After completion in 1931the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world for forty one years. Although both the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building have both been surpassed in height neither of them have ever been surpassed in value and fame.


^^^ : Empire State Building ^^^ :construction of empire state buildig


Parker, Steve. The 20th Century 1920-40 Atoms to Automation. Milwaukee. WI: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2000. 21. Print.
"Wonders of the World." pbs, 2001. Web. 9 Mar 2011. <>.
"Wonders of the World." pbs, 2001. Web. 10 Mar 2011.


During the1920s Charles Lindbergh had a very big impact on the way that people traveled from place to place. In the beginning, it was just transportation by cars, trains and walking and that is how people expected to get around. Charles Lindbergh made transportation easier for many people. It helped people get across oceans, so without the invention of the airplane, many places that we visit in today’s world would not be possible.

Charles was born on February 4th, 1902 and was born in Detroit, Michigan. Later on in his early years he was raised up in Twin Towns, Minnesota. As a teenager, Charles was very thin and awkward and he attended University of Wisconsin to study mechanical engineering. At the age of 20 years old, Charles was a drop out and began a new life as an aerial adventure. In 1923, Charles borrowed 500 dollars from his father to buy the plane from World War One, “Jenny” biplane to later then creating the first solo flight.
Charles Lindbergh is best known for creating the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean solo. Even though Charles was a skilled pilot, they made him go up into the sky and parachute out four times for his safety test. He left Roosevelt Field, New York on May 20th 1927. The name of the plane was, “The Spirit of Saint Louis” and overall the trip took 33 and ½ hours and landed in Paris. Charles landed to a hero’s welcome and international fame. He was also followed by Amelia Earhart, who was the first women to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. It took a distance more than 3,600 miles. Charles Lindbergh will always be remembered by flying a solo plane across the Atlantic Ocean.
· Garber, Stephen. "Charles Augustus Lindbergh." N.p., 8/28/09. Web. 9 Mar 2011.

· Parker, Steve. 20th Century 1920-40 Atoms to Automation. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2000. 16. Print.

· "Charles Lindbergh." Fact Monster. Pearson Eductaion, 2007. Web. 10 Mar 2011.