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The Technological Revolution and American Physical Education and Sport 1850-1930 KPE 260 –Winter, 2001 Dr. D. Frankl General Events An Ever Changing Landscape: A move from agrarian to urban and industrialized sport
KPE 260 –Winter, 2001
Dr. D. Frankl
An Ever Changing Landscape:
Betts, J. R. (1953, September). The technological revolution
And the rise of sport, 1850-1900. Mississippi Valley Historical
Review, XL, 231-56.
Percentage of labor force in agriculture
“[Sport] occupies the minds not only of the youth at the universities, but also of their parents and of the general public. Baseball matches and football matches excite an interest greater than any other public events except the presidential election, and that comes only once in four years...The American love of excitement and love of competition has seized upon these games.”
“The technological revolution is not the sole determining factor in the rise of sport, but to ignore its influence would result only in a more or less superficial understanding of the history of one of the prominent social institutions of modern America.”
As unbelievable as it may seem to us today, no organized spectator or participant sport activities existed in North America prior to the 1800s (Eitzen & Sage, 1993).
Some of the reasons follow:
The Post-Civil War years saw a diffusion of leisurely sport activities from the upper to the middle and to the working classes.
Of all the new activities baseball & football saw the greatest and most rapid growth.
Which is the currently fastest growing
sport in America?
1904—soccer included as an official Olympic sport in St Louis, the U.S. played
1914--The U.S. Football Association (USFA), now U.S. Soccer Federation, was granted full membership in FIFA
Immigrants settled in cities and were not as religious as the local puritans.
Members were health and physical education activists (Catharine Beecher and her family members)
Oliver Wendell Holms (1809-1894)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
By the 1920s sports has reached a peak and a bridge to the modern era sports was established.
Some sport historians look at the 1920s as the golden age of sport. Famous athletes of that era were:Babe Ruth, Knute Rockne and the four horses of Notre Dame, Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden and Helen Willis Moody.
Major developments in the last three decades:
(A) Amateur & professional spectator sports (B) The Fitness revolution
The Steam Engine
Boats, Railroads, Trains
Roads, cars, planes
1844first telegraph line built between Baltimore & Washington D.C.
1846The N.Y. Tribune & Herald used telegraphs for news
Improvements in printing processes
1869Harvard-Oxford crew race in England reported by wire in the US.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the first telephone.
From 1 million + telephones in 1900 we have today hundreds of millions of phones in the US. & Canada (~8% of world population with 50% of phones)
1896 Marchese Guglielmo Marconi patented wireless telegraphy
8/8/1920 radio station “Detroit News” aired the results of the World Series Baseball
Nov. 1920 a radio station in Pittsburgh began broadcasting
19201st football game broadcast from a radio station in Texas
TV--A recent poll claims that college students spend more waking hours watching TV than any other single activity!
By 1940TVs were marketable and by1957TV was no longer a novelty
1963 – instant replay on TV
1980s and 1990sare marked by cable TV, PCs, and the Internet.
Eastman Kodak developed first mobile camera during the1860s
1872first motion camera effect
1879Thomas A. Edison invented the bulb light
1885electric lights in Madison Square Garden in N.Y.
1930sbaseball night games
1830sCharles Goodyear’s vulcanization of rubber influenced sport equipment