Technology and Paradigm Shifts

Technology & Advancements

The automobile was certainly one of the greatest crazes of the 1920s, but it was not the greatest. An invention of smaller dimensions, lower cost, and with the same abilities to bring people together appeared in homes across the country. The radio became an instant success among the American public. Being substantially cheaper than a car, the radio became a part of virtually every home in America in only a few short years.

Radio instantly became a national obsession; many people would stay up half the night listening to concerts, sermons, news, and sports. Those without home radios gathered around in public places. The advent of public radio allowed listeners to not only keep up with national issues and events, it also allowed listeners to experience new ideas, new entertainment, and to form opinions on matters that had never been publicized to a national degree. The radios in thousands of homes linked people in simultaneous enjoyment and excitement.

The 1920’s saw the success of film too, albeit on a very limited scale. Without sound and without colour, movies still grabbed at the hearts at those that could access them. Theatres made these tidbits of culture available to the masses. As with many of the singers at the time, there was a strong focus on romance and innocence— and, as in the rest of the culture of the time, many people challenged this concept.

Paradigm Shifts

Scientific advancements during the 1920s was not confined to only industrial technologies; health and medicine advanced greatly during the same time period. A post-war interest developed in nutrition, caloric consumption, and physical vitality. This crusade for health was lead primarily by the Flappers, liberal and out-going women, of the 1920s.

The Flapper’s focus on “dieting away her hips” lead her to increase consumption of vegetables and fruits while decreasing consumption of meats and fats. With the rise in popularity of the Flapper came a significant change in the dietary habits of Americans as a whole.

After the recent flu outbreak, a further focus was placed on other aspects of good health. Immunization development went on to save lives across the country throughout the 20’s, empowering people with a sense of modernity and medical finesse.

Through radio broadcasts, the public learned of the benefits of consuming foods with high nutritional values, and thus a generation of health fanatics was started. Gaps remained in nutritional information and health, however, and American citizens continued to indulge in smoking and drinking to their heart’s content. Bootleg liquor became a $3.5 billion a year business during this same time period.

Speakeasies marked the 1920’s for violence, fear, and bootleg alcohol, as well as the many unfair actions by the government and the people. These illegal bars were originally formed in the mid 1920s, as a result of Prohibition. They were said to be luxurious due to the presence of drinking, talented singers, and other forms of entertainment.

Technology and Paradigm Shifts

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