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15 photos that show how different life was 100 years ago

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 14 Nov 2019


It's no secret that people's day-to-day lives in the 1920s were very different than they are now.About 100 years ago, Prohibition went into effect, leading to the rise of speakeasies and impacting American culture and society.From social events to schools and kitchens, life has changed drastically in the past 100 years.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.It may be hard to believe, but the start of the Roaring Twenties was almost 100 years ago.The 1920s brought amazing artistic, cultural, and technological advancementsbut life back then looked pretty different than it does today.Read on to take a trip back in time and see how life was different a century ago.Drugstores in the 1920s weren't only places to pick up prescriptions ' they were also soda and candy counters. Drugstores weren't just places to grab quick convenience items like they are today; they were central gathering spots in the community. At a 1920s-era pharmacy, customers could sit at the counter and enjoy a root beer float or an egg cream.These pharmacies of a bygone era were much more ornately decoratedwith marble countertops and beautiful light fixturesthan the fluorescent lighting-clad drugstores of today. New automobiles marked a new era of advancements.The 1920s are often looked at as one of the most influential decades of automobile advancements.Any curiosity about what was going in the world required a look at the daily newspaper.The first commercial radio broadcast happened in 1920 when Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, station KDKA went on airbut the 1920s were still long before the advent of TV. People relied on newspapers for local, national, and global updatesas well as advice columns, entertainment, and other stories.Telephones looked just a tad different from the smartphones we know today.Phones of the 1920s and '30s were characterized by their rotary dials and "spit cup" receivers. It was common to see phones mounted on the wall (to the right) or the candlestick version (to the left).Many women in the 1920s worked as telephone switchboard operators ' a job many considered a step up from working in a factory.The switchboard operator job was a female-dominated trade until the 1970s, according to Time.People using telephones in this era would hear a voice on the other end asking, "Number please'" After they had provided it, the switchboard operator would connect them.Silent films dominated the budding movie industry.The silent film era began in 1894 and continued through the 1920s. Before there were "talkies," audiences were dazzled by films starring actors and actresses like Charlie Chaplin and Clara Bow. The 1927 film "The Jazz Singer" was one of the most successful and iconic silent films of the time.Luxe fabrics, flapper girl silhouettes, and art-deco style dominated the fashion world in the '20s.In the Roaring Twenties, fashions were characterized by fringe, loose fabrics, and glamorous details. The garments differed immensely from the athleisure and street style-inspired looks that fill clothing racks today. But as fashion historians explain, trends are cyclicalmeaning '20s-inspired clothes could (and will likely) make a comeback into mainstream fashion again.100 years ago, Prohibition was in place and had a major affect on society and culture in the US. Prohibition went into effect in 1920 with the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol within the US. The law, until it was repealed in 1933, impacted American culture and societygiving way to organized crime and speakeasies. The Charleston was the dance of choice ...The famous Charleston dance came from a song in the Broadway show "Runnin' Wild." It became a mainstream dance in 1923 and defined the rest of the decade.... and jazz music was the most popular genre at the time.Jazz music dominated 1920s culture in America.Kitchen appliances were much different than they are now. The beginning of the 20th century brought many advancements to the homefrom gas ranges to the advent of refrigerators, which became commonplace in homes by the 1920sbut kitchens certainly didn't have the multi-functional, high-tech gadgets many homes are equipped with today. General stores were a popular go-to spot for various goods.General stores became less common after the 1920s, but throughout the decade, they were still popular for various goods for farmers and industrial workers, as well as equipment and food.Schools for young students typically were large classrooms that fit as many pupils as possible.At the time, classrooms and schoolhouses were designed to hold as many students as possible to maximize space. But in the 1920s, more educators and administrators started to support "progressive" schools that were built to house programs that were new at the timeallowing more open-air, light, and access to outdoor activities, according to a report from the National Institute of Building Sciences about school design.Gym class was much more elegant in the '20s than it is now.This looks way more sophisticated than a sweaty game of dodgeballa common gym class activity today.Circus shows were in their prime 100 years ago.The famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus show, "The Greatest Show on Earth," shut down in May 2017 after 146 years of shocking the nation with its acrobatic and animal performances.In recent years, changing attitudes towards animal rightsas well as high operating costs of the show itself, and declining attendance ratesplayed a role in the demise of the famous circus.Read more:16 unbelievable ways that life in the US has changed in the past 100 years20 big ways the world has changed since 199954 before-and-after photos that show how much the world has changed
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