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Explore the Decades - 1920s

1920s Newspaper Gifts

The 1920s was a decade of recovery and development. The war had left Great Britain on its knees, both economically and politically, and people had to cope with the loss of husbands and comrades. However, war provoked a ‘life is short’ mentality that added excitement to the era. There was a celebration of youth and a need for fun following the repressive years of conflict.

America’s economy initially flourished and it welcomed the mass production of consumer goods. The manufacture of affordable automobiles made movie halls more accessible, which financed a boom in film making. Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino were icons of the 1920s and “The Jazz Singer” was released in 1922 - the first film to feature sound. Technicolour emerged during the decade and glamourous females such as Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn inspired a new spirit in fashion.

Jazz music filtered through gramaphones and crystal radios. Young people flocked to dance halls to try the Charleston and Samba. Women began to enjoy more freedom and increased independence. Female authors rose in prominence and Virginia Woolf emerged as a popular novelist and social commentator. In 1928, women were allowed to vote from the age of twenty-one.