50 Amazing Vintage Photos From the 1920s Volume 10

The 1920s (pronounced “nineteen-twenties,” often shortened to the “20s”) was a decade that began on January 1, 1920, and ended on December 31, 1929. In America, it is frequently referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” or the “Jazz Age”, while in Europe the period is sometimes referred to as the “Golden Twenties” because of the economic boom following World War I (1914-1918). French speakers refer to the period as the “Années folles” (“Crazy Years”), emphasizing the era’s social, artistic, and cultural dynamism.

The 1920s saw foreign oil companies begin operations in Venezuela, which became the world’s second-largest oil-producing nation. The devastating Wall Street Crash in October 1929 is generally viewed as a harbinger of the end of 1920s prosperity in North America and Europe. In the Soviet Union the New Economic Policy was created by the Bolsheviks in 1921, to be replaced by the first five-year plan in 1928. The 1920s saw the rise of radical political movements, with the Red Army triumphing against White movement forces in the Russian Civil War, and the emergence of far right political movements in Europe. In 1922, the fascist leader Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy. Economic problems contributed to the emergence of dictators in Eastern Europe to include Józef Pilsudski in Poland, and Peter and Alexander Karadordevic in Yugoslavia. First-wave feminism saw progress, with women gaining the right to vote in the United States (1920), Ireland (1921) and with suffrage being expanded in Britain to all women over 21 years old (1928).

In Turkey, nationalist forces defeated Greece, France, Armenia and Britain in the Turkish War of Independence, leading to the Treaty of Lausanne (July 1923), a treaty more favorable to Turkey than the earlier proposed Treaty of Sèvres. The war also led to the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate. Nationalist revolts also occurred in Ireland (1919–1921) and Syria (1925–1927). Under Mussolini, Italy pursued a more aggressive foreign policy, leading to the Second Italo-Senussi War in Libya. In 1927, China erupted into a civil war between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Civil wars also occurred in Paraguay (1922–1923), Ireland (1922–1923), Honduras (1924), Nicaragua (1926–1927), and Afghanistan (1928–1929). Saudi forces conquered Jabal Shammar and subsequently, Hejaz.

A severe famine occurred in Russia in 1921–1922 due to the combined effects of economic disturbance because of the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War, exacerbated by rail systems that could not distribute food efficiently, leading to 5 million deaths. Another severe famine occurred in China in 1928–1930, leading to 6 million deaths. The Spanish flu (1918–1920) and the 1918–1922 Russia typhus epidemic, which had begun in the previous decade, caused 25–50 million and 2–3 million deaths respectively. Major natural disasters of this decade include the 1920 Haiyuan earthquake (258,707~273,407 deaths), the 1922 Swatow typhoon (50,000–100,000 deaths), the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake (105,385–142,800 deaths), and the 1927 Gulang earthquake (40,912 deaths).

Silent films were popular in this decade, with the 1925 American silent epic adventure-drama film Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ being the highest-grossing film of this decade, grossing $9,386,000 worldwide. Other high-grossing films of this decade include The Big Parade and The Singing Fool. Sinclair Lewis was a popular author in the 1920s, with 2 of his books, Main Street and Elmer Gantry, becoming best-selling books in the United States in 1921 and 1927 respectively. Other best-selling books of this decade include All Quiet on the Western Front and The Private Life of Helen of Troy. Songs of this decade include “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and “Stardust”. (Wikipedia)

Botafogo Bay and Rio de Janeiro at night, September 1920.
A policeman directs buses in the intersection of Trafalgar Square in London, May 1929.
Portrait of Alexander Graham Bell’s family and friends on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, 1922.
Flower woman sitting at the Piccadilly, London, 1920s.
A crowd gathers around to listen to the first car radio in NYC, 1923.
A picnic at the California Alligator Farm in the 1920s, located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles between 1907 and 1953. The farm had 20 ponds for the trained alligators where patrons could mingle freely with them.
Greta Garbo, late 1920s.
Wedding, 1920s style
Flappers on the front of a Peerless Touring Car in the San Francisco Bay area back in 1923.
Best pals smile for the camera, 1924.
18 year-old inventor, H. Day, wearing headphones attached to a wireless under his top hat in the UK, 1922.
Ye Olde Horse in London, 1926.
Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach invented the famous Rorschach Test using 10 inkblot pictures/cards in 1921.
Aerial view of Hollywood in 1926.
Testing a bullet proof vest in 1923.
These women were arrested in Chicago for wearing one-piece bathing suits that revealed too much leg in 1922.
Marion Morrison (aka John Wayne) playing football at USC in 1926.
A Luritja man demonstrates a method of attack with a boomerang, under the cover of his shield in central Australia, 1920.
Photo of Actress Janet Gaynor, receiving an academy award, at the first Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929, now known as “The Oscars”
Ballerinas practice on the edge of a building in New York, 1925.
The mailman with his heavy Christmas deliveries in 1929.
Three generations of women stand outside their cottage in Connemara, Ireland. 1920s
Pola Negri at the Café de la Paix, Paris, 1927.
Doris Eaton Travis, the last Ziegfeld Follies Girl in the 1920s. She passed away at the age of 106 in 2010.
Here’s the scary-looking costume from the Tsam Mask Dance in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (1925)
Mugshot of Herbert Ellis, arrested many times throughout his life, including ‘goods in custody, indecent langauge, stealing, receiving and throwing a missile.’ 1920
Silent film actress, Alice White in 1929
Orchestra members dressed in ‘Michelin Man’ costumes for the opening of the radio program “The Michelin Hour” in 1928.
Albert Einstein lecturing on the Theory of Relativity, 1922
Kids playing in a busy street of Paris, 1920s.
Louise Brooks as the scheming nightclub singer nicknamed ‘the Canary’ in publicity photos for the film, “The Canary Murder Case” in 1929.
Workers digging the Holland Tunnel in New York, 1923.
Miss Jeanne Devereux was the first licensed female hair stylist in New York City, 1927.
A police officer on a Harley-Davidson transports a prisoner in a mobile booking cage, 1921
Women shaving their legs in 1927. These women were on Broadway, so they were slightly atypical for the time.
Actress Louise Brooks, Late 1920s
Silent film actress Valeska Suratt, 1920.
The aftermath of an automobile accident in 1923.
Miss America began in Atlantic City in 1921, here’s Miss Chicago.
Bicycle shop in Florida during the 1920s.
Ahmet Muhtar Bej Zogolli (later to anoint himself as King Zog l) lifting weights by the beach at Durres in Albania, 1925
An operator in Chicago announces the time every 15 seconds in 1928.
Crowd watches as Charles Lindbergh lands the “Spirit of St. Louis” at the Croydon Aerodome in London. (1927)
Gary Cooper, 1920s.
German kids playing with stacks of German Marks. Due to hyperinflation, this was probably worth less than $1, 1923
Holidaymakers enjoy a ride on a switchback railway at Wembley, London (1924)
Lester William Polsfuss, aka Les Paul, at the age of 14, in 1929 . (he invented the rack/harmonica holder he has in the photo) The guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar.
Bathing beauties pose by a solarium (private sun room) in Florida, 1929.
Babe Ruth and his fans in 1925.
A female gas station attendant, Chicago, 1927

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