Entertainment In The 1920's Essay

1073 words - 4 pages

Imagine a time without television, movies, cars, or basketball. At the end of the 19th century these inventions, taken for granted in today's society, were just making their first appearances. Thomas Edison created the kinetoscope in 1894, and American's saw their first moving picture. A few years later, Thomas Arnat came out with his "Vitascope", the best-designed projector thus far. It allowed Edison's movies to be seen by a room full of people at the same time. The first gasoline-powered car was invented in 1891, by John Lambert. Although new advancements and improvements were made regularly on Lambert's design, cars were becoming more popular and widespread everyday. Photographs, first used in the Civil War, were becoming more common and more advanced. With the advancement of photos came more elaborate and sophisticated newspapers and magazines. The American people became more avid readers of such media, and began to take common interests because they reading a common newspaper. One of these common interests, sparked by all of the inventions of the time, was sports. During this era basketball was invented in 1891; the National Baseball League was created in 1876; modern day Olympics began in 1896; boxing became an organized sport in 1892; and recreational sports like biking, tennis, and swimming grew popular. At the turn of the century Americans were more competitive, more active, and more interested in sports then ever before. The rapidly advancing technology in the 1890s, helped shape America's new preoccupation with sports at the turn of the century.With the creation of more refined, nationally read newspapers and magazines, American's were able to read about, and see pictures of sports events everyday. Prior to this time the only forms of media known to American's was wartime propaganda and local newspapers. During this era, however, newspapers began to report on events from across the nation, especially sports events. According to historian Diana Claitor, "the dramatic increase in the media coverage of sports introduced masses of people to unknown athletic events and riveting accounts of physical prowess" (Claitor 173). Stories of individual's athletic accomplishments featured in the media would spark the public's interest in whatever sport was being written about. A story about a ski journey across Greenland sparked such interest in the public that downhill skiing was invented. Along with skiing, other winter sports and recreational activities such as ice skating and sledding also became popular because of the article.Another fairly new technology that matured alongside newspapers was photography. New photography techniques, along with pictures in newspapers gave Americans the opportunity to see sports in a new way and become fans of their favorite players or teams. People no longer had to see every event first hand to follow the sport. They could read about the game/match in the newspaper and see pictures of what had happened. One...

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