Consumerism

Cars, Radios, and Music

Thesis: Thanks to larger wages and a strong economy, many consumer products were invented. Some of these products are, electric washing machines, irons, vacuum cleaners and refrigerators. All of these including radios, and cars became household necessities. Music became something everyone enjoyed,and radios made communication easy. Owning these things became part of what it meant to be American

Cars:

  • Automobile production soared in the 1920's - from 6 million units to 27 million units over the decade. This is due to the introduction of the assembly line
  • Although there were many companies that sold cars, the Model-T dominated most of America's market.
  • the 1920's also was a time of major road construction and regulations.
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Radio:


  • The first licensed radio broadcast was in Pittsburgh, PA on Nov. 2nd 1920.
  • 60% of American families owned a radio
  • By 1922 there were over 600 American radio stations
  • Radio Act of 1927 put the Federal Radio Commission in charge of radio broadcasts- regulating times of broadcasts
  • Radio was the television of the 1920's- family's sat down to listen to music, classical music, sporting events, lectures, fictional stories, newscasts, weather reports, market updates, and political commentary
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Music:
  • Jazz was the most popular form of music in the 1920's
  • Popular Jazz artists included Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Luis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald
  • Jazz brought both white and black people together, both listened to the same music and in some cases, even were in a band together


Today we still enjoy all of these amenities. American cars have turned into some of Americas biggest businesses. There are 1000's of radio stations. Music is still a major part of Americas culture. Jazz is still enjoyed as well.