To offer a unique perspective on the Twenties, six collections of primary materials are presented in Theme I, each from a single source—newsreels, cartoons, political cartoons, animated cartoons, subway posters, and a 1931 retrospective. We encourage you to mix and match materials from two or more collections to gain insights that such snapshot overviews offer. A collection discussion guide is offered to stimulate study and analysis. Preceding the collections, in Section One, we sample Twenties commentary as people tried to define their times: What is this new age we live in? How do we feel about it? Where is it taking us?
- How are the Twenties immediately familiar to 21st-century observers? In what ways does the decade seem remote and old-fashioned?
- Identify and explain four characteristics of the Twenties that most differentiate the decade from the 1910s and the 1930s.
- What are benefits and downsides of snapshot views of a historical period?
- What research would you conduct to test a hypothesis about the 1920s gained from these snapshot views?
Sections in THE AGE
Each section presents primary resources, introductory notes, classroom discussion questions, and supplemental links.
- "The Age We Live In"
- - Collected commentary on "the age," 1920s
- Only Yesterday Year by Year
- - Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen Twenties, 1931, selections
- Chicago Tribune Political Cartoons
- - Chicago Tribune political cartoons, 1918-1929 (24, two per year)
- New Yorker Cartoons
- - New Yorker cartoons on "the Age," 1925-1929 (13)
- Felix the Cat Animated Cartoons, 1922-1927 (8)
- - Felix Busts a Bubble, 1926 [flapper's dream of stardom]
- - Felix Saves the Day, 1922 [interracial baseball game]
- - Felix Revolts, 1923 [labor strike]
- - Felix in Hollywood, 1923 [movie industry]
- - Felix Doubles for Darwin, 1924 [evolution]
- - Felix Finds Out, 1924 [Prohibition]
- - All Puzzled, 1925 [Red Scare]
- - The Non-Stop Fright, 1927 [Lindbergh]
- Detroit News Newsreels, 1923-1928 (30)
- New York City Subway Posters
- - Subway poster collection, New York City, 1918-1932 (20)
Image: Galveston, Texas, bathing revue, ca. 1926, panoramic photograph by Cecil Thomson Studios, ca. 1926 (detail). Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Call No. PAN SUBJECT-Bathing beauties no. 26.