Life in the 1920s Agenda Movies Fashion Music Slang Art Inventions Gangs
The Movies The Age of Cinema The 1920’s saw the birth of modern cinema in Hollywood, California. Beginning with silent films, by the mid 1920s a huge and profitable movie industry was created!
The Cinema As films improved, their production became more complex, being manufactured in assembly-line style, in Hollywood's 'entertainment factories.’ By the end of the decade movies were now being made with sound. This was a revolutionary invention that changed the way we watch movies today!
Cinema Do you notice any similarities between the two films?
Mary Pickford Mary Pickford (April 8, 1892 – May 29, 1979) was a Canadian-born motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists. Known as "America's Sweetheart," "Little Mary" and "The girl with the curls," she a Canadian pioneer in Hollywood and the development of film acting. One of the first modern female celebrities, she set the standard for future generations of actresses and stars.
End of the Victorian Age Women in the Victorian era wore clothes that covered most of their bodies and had corsets to make their waists smaller and curvier. Notice the long skirt, long arms, and large hats They also had long hair that was always pinned up.
Women’s Fashion In contrast to the Victorian Woman the Women of the 1920’s tended to wear dresses that had short sleeves, shorter hems and smaller hats. They also tended to not wear anything with corsets or form fitting.
The Flapper The Flapper is an iconic symbol of the 1920’s. Women cut their hair, wore a lot more make-up Accessories were also a big deal, long strings of pearls were necessary as were feathers and headbands The flapper dress tended to be very ‘boxy’ and not show off any curves at all. They could also be covered in tassels.
The Masculine Look Many women attempted to ‘hide’ their femininity by dressing more masculine. This women is wearing a tie and a bowler hat which were traditionally worn by men.
The “Bob” Women in the 1920s also cut off all their hair, opting for shorter styles. The bob became an overnight sensation as well as short pin curls. This was far different from the traditional longer pinned up Victorian era.
Men’s Fashion Men tended to wear three piece suits with ties. They also wore bowler, fedora and or straw hats with wing tipped shoes.
The Gangster Look This timeless look for men symbolizes the ‘gangster’ identity that is seen in many movies depicting this era.
The Birth of Jazz By the mid-1920s, jazz was being played in dance halls and speakeasies all over the country. Early jazz became popular with marching bands and dance bands of the day, which was the most popular concert music in the early twentieth century. Without early jazz today’s music would not exist. This jazz allowed music to evolve into days Rap, Dance and Rock!
The Era of Jazz Radio and phonograph records were bringing jazz to remote places. And the music itself slowly changed, becoming more free and lively under gifted musicians. Improvising soloists, struggling to find their own voices and to tell their own stories, were about to take center stage.
Robert Nathaniel Dett Robert Nathaniel Dett (October 11, 1882 – October 2, 1943), was a composer in the USA and Canada. During his lifetime he was one of the most successful black composers, known for his use of folk songs and spiritual music. Dett was born in Drummondville, Ontario where he studied piano at an early age and formal piano lessons at age five.
Duke Ellington Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was a composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his charisma, he is considered to have made jazz an art form equal with other genres of music. Ellington's orchestra began its stint at Harlem's famous Cotton Club in 1927, providing music for stage routines where scantily dressed black dancers performed for an exclusively white audience.
Louis Armstrong Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Becoming famous as an "inventive" cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong shifted the focus of jazz towards solo performance Note: You may know Louis Armstrong from his hit song “What a wonderful world”
The Group of Seven “The West Wind,” Tom Thompson Perhaps best known of all Canada’s artists, the Group of Seven came together in 1920 as an group of “modern” painters. They painted Canada’s rugged north using strong, deep colours, which differed from the realistic paintings of the time. Many Canadians were shocked by their bold, fresh style, and those who criticised this non-conformist type of painting called it the “hot mush school.
The Group of Seven The original members of the Group of Seven – J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, Franklin Carmichael, Arthur Lismer, F.H. Varley, A.Y. Jackson, and Franz Johnston – travelled in small groups in northern Ontario with their easels and sketch pads painting and sketching scenes of nature. They had similar styles and were influenced by their friend Tom Thompson who died in a mysterious boating accident in 1917. A whole new style of art emerged during the 1920s that was distinctly Canadian and added to an emerging sense of Canadian identity and nationalism.
Breaking Down the Seven Describe what you see. What is this image of? Where do you think this mountain is found? Does this give us a good impression of the qualities Canadian landscape and identity? Is anything MISSING?
Breaking Down the Seven Where are the First Nations represented?
Emily Carr Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Emily Carr (1871-1945) was an unofficial member of the Group of Seven While a classically trained in England, Carr experimented with many styles, eventually focusing on First Nations traditions late in her career.
Emily Carr As a woman, Carr broke away from the domestic life and traditional expectations of her gender. Unlike the Group of Seven, her later art focused on First Nations traditions and the impact of western society on the landscape.
Emily Carr Blunden Harbour, c.1930 Kwakwaka'wakw Village of Ba'a's (Blunden Harbour), 1901
Emily Carr on Aboriginal Art “Indian art broadened my seeing, loosened the formal tightness I had learned in England's schools. Its bigness and stark reality baffled my white man's understanding. I was as Canadian-born as the Indian but behind me were Old World heredity and ancestry as well as the Canadian environment. The new West called me, but my Old World heredity, the flavour of my upbringing, pulled me back. I had been schooled to see outsides only, not struggle to pierce.” -Emily Carr
The Radio The radio first became available to families in the 1920s. Called crystal sets, they were cheap and helped to connected people in remote areas to the rest of the country. Lectures, concerts and news were broadcasted as the radio helped to spread information and ideas.
The Automobile By the 1920s Canada was becoming a nation of drivers. In 1920, there was one car to every 22 Canadians. 10 years later there was one car for every 8 people. Ford had been the first company to start making cars in Canada. Many families owned a Model-T Ford. The average Canadian selling price went from $900 in 1921 to $700 five years later.
The Automobile These 1920s cars had to be hand-cranked to start, and they did not have a heater. Such luxuries as adjustable seats, brake lights, and foot pedals for acceleration were added later. Before anti-freeze was used, most people parked their cars for the winter and did not drive at all.
The Automobile As more people drove, roads and highways were paved for a smoother ride and gas stations popped up. These early cars could go as fast as 64km/hr!
The Automobile Above all else, cars allowed people to travel!. Automobiles allowed farmers to come to town to shop and sell their goods and caused rapid growth of the Suburbs because people could live farther away from where they worked. Friends and relatives could visit each other regularly. The automobile made summer cottages easy to reach and let young people with more freedom to date whom they pleased.
The Discovery of Insulin Canadian researchers contributed much in the field of medicine. Fredrick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin, which improved the lives of diabetics worldwide. Although not a cure for Diabetes, insulin corrects the blood sugar level for patients Until insulin was made available, a diagnosis of diabetes was an invariable death sentence