“The only benefit I ever got from the movies was in learning to love and the knowledge of sex,” a young woman confided to an interviewer in the mid-20s. And it contains a bathing scene in silhouette that must have made the censors blink.” Like film, radio was invented in the late nineteenth century but experienced its formative era of commercial expansion in the twenties.“If we didn’t see such examples in the movies,” explain another, “where would we get the idea of being ‘hot? On November 2, 1920, radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, broadcast the presidential election returns.
Americans living in the 1920s could listen to Roxy and His Gang, the Clicqot Club Eskimos, and the Ipana Troubadours.
They could hear Gartland Rice announce the World Series——or listen to Floyd Gibbons relate the day’s news.
A powerful women’s political movement demanded and won the right to vote in 1920.
Spurred on by the growth of an urban, industrial economy that required a larger female labor force, and by the emergence of public amusements that defied the old nineteenth-century courting system, many young women now had the wherewithal and drive to lead independent lives.
Radio proved a highly democratic medium, and by mid-decade local stations helped bring “race music,” “hillbilly” sounds, and ethnic recordings into living rooms across the country.
In the late 1920s enterprising American businessmen built powerful “X-stations” just across the border in northern Mexico to evade federal radio frequency regulations.
By the mid-1920s movie theaters were selling 50 million tickets each week, a sum equal to roughly half the US population!
And the generation that came of age in the twenties learned things at the movie palace that they couldn’t learn in school. and its utter disregard of the conventions, is daringly handled in this film.
America stood at a crossroads between innovation and tradition.
Many Americans were looking boldly ahead, but just as many were gazing backward, to cherished memories of a fabled national innocence.
Between 18 the number of children borne by the average American woman fell from seven to three. Rather, in an urbanizing society, where more children were a cost rather than an asset, they stepped up their use of birth control, and in so doing, redefined sex as something to engage in for pleasure rather than procreation.