Assess The Roles Played By Science And Technology In The Construction Of C19th And/Or C20th American Urban Space?

1894 words - 8 pages

After World 1 the United States were left virtually unharmed, the United States was even able to experience a decade of peace and prosperity following such a disastrous war. Of the many reasons for America's prosperity, technology played one of the most vital parts in bringing the great economic and cultural prosperity that America experienced during the 1920s. New advancements, new discoveries, and new inventions such as the car, radio, pharmacy and theatre improved American lives in a dramatic way, but not without a few negative side effects.One of the first major inventions to become a national craze was the automobile. First developed with a combustion engine in 1896 by inventor He ...view middle of the document...

Automobiles appeared everywhere and were being driven everywhere. Spurred on by this federal money, every section of the country launched ambitious road building programs during the 1920s. By the end of the decade, highway construction programs employed more men and spent more money than any single private industry. The increased use of automobiles touched every corner of the American economy. "It stimulated the oil industry, it boosted road construction, extended the 1920s housing boom to suburbs, and even developed new businesses" (Bruce, pg79-80). The success of Ford can be compared to the richest man in the world at present Bill Gates. Henry Ford was the epitome of everything in the world of everyday work that the citizens of the 1920s admired. His faults were overlooked or accepted as virtues, his success in this great mechanical and business venture seemed a test of the health of the nation itself. The public were absorbed and entertained by such toys as Model-Ts and Model-As.The combination of an increase in the popularity of the car and than the upsurge of American recreation helped towards the success of the movie industry. In the early days theatres had low attendance because of a sparse distribution of theatres. But as cars became more popular, transportation became less of a hassle, and as a result movie attendance heavily increased with the increase of car sales. With performances by sex symbol, Rudolph Valentino, dramatic performances by comedian, Charlie Chaplin, and many other famous actors, the movie industry was able to attract a huge audiences of loyal viewers, surprisingly during the years of silent black-and-white films. Theatres began to advance and in 1922, improvements in sound recording technology enabled the filming and broadcasting of the first movie ever made with sound, The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson. And finally in 1926, the advent of Technicolor enabled the creation of movies with not only sound but with colour also. Consequently, the movie industry became a major part of American industry in general. "In 1927 alone, over 14,500 movie theatres throughout the nation showed over 400 films a year each, as movies became America's favourite form of entertainment" (Gordon and Gordon, pg 68). Actors starting getting paid huge amounts of money such as £4000 a week, while the average American worker earned around a mere $2,000 per year. The advent of certain technologies helped to bring about the immense success of the movie industry; a success that would last even to this very day.The car was certainly one of the greatest fads of the 1920s, but it was not the best, it was the radio, which became an instant success among the American people. Being substantially cheaper than a car, the radio became a part of virtually every home in America in only a few years. Following the beginning of the first public radio broadcasting station, KDKA, in Pittsburgh, many thousands more broadcasting stations popped up all over ...


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