America through the Years Historical timeline 1880-1980

1880's

FASHION

Women: A decade of severely tight and restrictive corset that was worn under dresses with long boned bodices, tight sleeves and high necks.

Men: Well-dressed gentlemen wore dark clothing cut and made to measure. Watch-chain, one ring, shirt-stud and sleeve-buttons were all the jewelry allowable for the gentleman.

MUSIC
1880 – The first American Symphony “Cambridge” was conducted by composer John Knowles Paine. This symphony gained so much attention; other aspiring composters were inspired to work on projects of their own. Massachusetts was the home to this first performance.
INVENTIONS
1882 – Before electricity, people would ride of wrinkles from their clothes by running hot stones, sad-irons, and charcoal irons over their garments. During this year, those old tactics became absolute when Henry W. Seeley developed the electric iron. Although it took a while to warm up, and was really heavy (15 pounds), this contraption was a gateway to modern clothing irons.
1888 – Writing with ink was altered with the invention of the ballpoint pen. Previously, people had to write using feathers and ink or inadequate pencils. John Loud’s ballpoint pen allowed for more ink to be stored and the ballpoint provided a more control and precision when writing with a pen.

1890's

FASHION

Women: Silhouette slimmed and elongated considerably in 1897. Sleeves began to reduce in size and skirts were fashioned to be slim over the hips. Necklines rose even higher, supported by very high boned collars.

Men: The overall silhouette of the 1890s was long, lean, and athletic. Hair was generally worn short, often with a pointed beard and generous mustache.Three-piece suits consisted of a sack coat with matching waistcoat and trousers were worn, as were matching coat and waistcoat with contrasting trousers.

INVENTIONS
1893 – Charles Edgar Duryea and his brother Frank Duryea created the first gasoline powered automobile. At 4 horse power and a two stroke motor, the car was an outlet to modern automotives. People traveled by horse back or railroads until automobiles became mainstream. Even when automobiles first debuted, they were reserved for the elite due to being expensive to manufacture.
SPORTS
April 1896- The first modern Olympic Games, the idea of Pierre de Coubertin, are held in Athens, Greece.
MUSIC
1897 – John Philip Sousa composted the “Stars and Stripes Forever” musical march. The performance was done by members of the United States military on Christmas Day in Philadelphia in 1897. During this performance, the audience was so into the music and the patriotic march, which the audience stood up as if the National Anthem was being played.

1900's

FASHION

Women: The skirt’s silhouette was slim at the hip, achieved with pleating and smocking. Any fullness in the skirt was confined to below the knee. Decoration was applied using large and small tucks, hem ruffles, buttons and lace insertions. For day, ladies wore very high necks and the bosom was undefined with fullness over the boned bodice that would often drop to below the waist. Evening dresses were more daring and were worn off the shoulder, with or without sleeves.

Men: Beards were less pointed than before and moustaches were often curled. Trousers were shorter than before, often had turn-ups or cuffs, and were creased front and back using the new trouser press. Waistcoats fastened high on the chest. The usual style was single-breasted.

ENTERTAINMENT
1903- Edison Corporation mechanic Edwin S. Porter makes The Great Train Robbery. With 14 shots cutting between simultaneous events, this 12-minute short establishes the shot as film's basic element and editing as a central narrative device.
SPORTS
1903- The first World Series is played by the nine best teams from the American league and the National league.
1908-United States boxer Jack Johnson becomes the first ever African American to be champion, he defeats Tommy Burns in Australia. Not only did Jack Johnson become the first ever African American boxing champion but he did so while representing the United States.

1910's

FASHION

Women: Bodices tended to lean towards the higher waist and skirts were full and tiered. Other popular fancies were bat-wing sleeves, over-drapes and flying panel skirts.

Men: Suits were widely popular in this time. Pants were worn at the ankle length and cuffed. The Norfolk jacket was popular for outdoorsmen. The most causal jacket was a blazer, worn for most everyday activities. Formal shirts had collars that were tall and stiff while ties were narrow.

INVENTIONS
1913 – Henry Ford’s assembly line took advantage of interchangeable parts, increasing production rate and decreasing costs. The production of the Model T allowed a larger audience to purchase automobiles. The invention of the assembly line is used globally and has made producing goods more efficient.
ENTERTAINMENT
1915- D.W. Griffith's technically brilliant Civil War epic, The Birth of a Nation, introduces the narrative close-up, the flashback and other elements that endure today as the structural principles of narrative filming.
Sports
1916- One of the greatest baseball players of all time Babe Ruth sets a record of pitching 13 consecutive scoreless innings which to this day still holds. Babe Ruth will forever be known as one of the greatest if not the greatest baseball player that ever played the game.

1920's

FASHION

Women: Necklines were usually a simple scoop or “V” but when collars were used they emphasized the long line. Sleeves were either long and straight or with bell shaping. Chiffon, light silks, soft velvet, lamés, lightweight wool and soft cottons made up the fabrics. Sometimes a sash was applied to the hip but dresses also fell in a straight line.

Men: Men's suit jackets were shorter than the old long tailed jackets. Trousers got wider, and the short trouser became popular as casual menswear. You could usually tell a man's social class based on his hat. Upper class men wore top hats, middle class men wore fedoras, and low class men wore standard newsboy hats.

MUSIC
1920 – KDKA, the first radio station in the United States, was created to broadcast the Harding-Cox presidential election on November 2, 1920. The radio signals covered Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. This innovation later created radio stations to be used to broadcast music for people to listen to across the country.
1920’s – This decade is where blues music started to get a lot of the attention it has today. The genre is made to resemble hardships that the African American community faced while trying to conform to the American Society. The music is very personal and emphasizes on how the African American community was treated during these times.
SPORTS
1921- The first ever football game that featured a live play by play broadcast. This match featured Texas A&M and the University of Texas. This introduction of live play by play greatly increased the popularity of spectator sports.
ENTERTAINMENT
1927-History was made in New York on October 6th, 1927 when the very first spoken voice in a feature film was heard. The voice belonged to Al Jolson and the ground breaking movie The Jazz Singer. The reaction by the theater audience was immediate they rose to their feet, applauding ecstatically. The moment came in the middle of the film when, during a nightclub scene, Jolson suddenly spoke. The first words ever spoken in a movie were, "wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothing yet! You wanna hear “Toot, Toot, Tootsie”? All right, hold on, hold on.."

1930's

FASHION

Women: Waistlines returned to the natural position, while remaining relaxed and fit. Designers experimented with new cuts and new materials. For evening, the bias cut gown was favored in silk velvet or silk satin. Synthetic fabrics such as rayon and nylon were in common use for everyday garments.

Men: Bright colors were frowned upon. After the Depression, the suits became wider cut. The shoulders were heavily padded. Young men wore suit coats with long tails and flowing pants called "zoot suits." Zippers became an alternative to buttons. Hats were essential. Many men wore bowlers or snap brim fedoras. Beards were considered unacceptable.

MUSIC
1932 – Duke Ellington created the song “It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing”, this revolutionary song created the “swing” movement in American History. The music had a lot of jazz influence and was often upbeat for the time. Swing was played at restaurants and formal gatherings during this era.
GAMES
1930's- During these years classic board games such as monopoly, scramble, and sorry! Were first introduced and sold. Families would often hold family game nights where the whole family would meet and usually enjoy a meal together and then proceed to play board games.
SPORTS
1935- This year brought the introduction of night time baseball games, more specifically on May 24 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt turned on the lights of Crosley Field for the first ever nighttime baseball game.
1936- Jesse Owens, An African American athlete from the United States, competes at the Olympics in Berlin and breaks 3 records and ties a fourth one in front of Hitler. Hitler thought the games would be dominated by the Germans which would prove his Nazi ideology but instead Jesse Owens who was an African American dominated in the games.
1937- Basketball in the United States became a professional sport with the creation of the National Basketball League. This league would eventually become the National Basketball Association (NBA) as we know it today.
ENTERTAINMENT
1937-In order to distract those who were facing financial difficulties due to the Great Depression, a new form of entertainment was brought to life. Walt Disney's first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, hits theaters and becomes an instant classic.

1940's

FASHION

Women: The war also brought social and cultural change as greater numbers of women entered the workplace. Slacks, once considered scandalous and fit only for the boudoir, gained popularity. The New Look called for rounded shoulders, exaggerated bust lines, wasp waists and padded hips and long, often extravagantly full skirts that required an exorbitant amount of fabric. This was a strident comment on the end of wartime asceticism.

Men: During the ‘40s, suits were still every day wear for men, whether they were going to an office job, to a picnic, or out to dinner. Men’s 1940s suits were usually made from thick wool, worsted wool, or tweed but during the war synthetic rayon blended with wool was usually used instead.

TOYS
1940s- The toys during these years was greatly influenced by the war because many of the toys were guns or something else military related. Toys for boys were usually guns and war time items (grenades, soldiers, planes) while girls usually played with dolls or toy house sets. During this time the slinky was also released which has become an icon and is still played with today.
MUSIC
1940 – Les Paul came up with his revolutionary musical innovation, “The Log”, also widely known as the electric guitar. With the electric guitar, musicians began experimenting with this new contraption. Sounds that were unfamiliar to people at the time were being created in the name of music. Rock n’ Roll was able to spawn with the invention of “The Log”.
INVENTIONS
1946 – Storing food became more convenient and simple with the invention of Tupperware. Earl Silas Tupper used oil waste to transform into a durable plastic. The molds are used to store food and keep them at desired temperatures while protecting its contents.
ENTERTAINMENT
1946-The Best Years of Our Lives debuts, and is immediately recognized as a classic post-War film that accurately portrays the readjustment families face when loved ones return from battle. The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor.
SPORTS
1947- On April 15 Jackie Robinson became the first ever African American to play in Major League Baseball. This changed the game forever because this broke down barriers for other minorities to enter the league. Jackie Robinson became an idol that young people especially those of minority backgrounds can look up to.

1950's

FASHION

Women: In addition to the full skirt, slender pencil skirts were worn too. The emphasis on silhouette and form created a dependency on foundation garments – bullet bras, corsets, waist-clinchers and girdles pulled in, pushed out and persuaded while crinolines lifted and shaped full-circle skirts.

Men: The type of clothing worn was dependent upon the job they had. As in previous decades, men often wore hats. The brims got shorter in the 50's. As the decade went on, men started to wear more casual clothes. Along with the causal styles came diversity in colors and prints. Various polos and short sleeved button downs were worn. Long sleeve button downs came in more than just the usual white or grey.

INVENTIONS
1952 – John W. Hedrick invented the airbag for automobiles, increasing the survival rate of people involved in automobile accidents. This invention protects people from serious injury and even death from accidents. Although safety is not guaranteed by airbags, it is still vital to try to be as safe as possible when it comes to driving a vehicle.
GAMES
1958- Physicist William Higinbotham created what is thought to be the first ever video game. The game was a very simple game tennis game. Some say William Higinbotham created this video game because he wanted a way to past time among him and his colleague.
MUSIC
1959-The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences sponsors the first Grammy Award ceremony for music recorded in 1959.

1960's

FASHION

Women: The movement towards modernity was conscious and international. Italian designers like Pucci created psychedelic palettes of color, transforming wearers of simple silk knit gowns into walking works of art. American designers excelled in casual, uncomplicated sportswear chic. French couture explored other ideas; one of these borrowed pants and tuxedo jackets from menswear for the hip, liberated fashion-conscious woman.

Men: Pants became much tighter. The fit around the thigh was sporty and not at all the relaxed fit that men were accustomed to. The pea coat was quite popular for men in the mid-60's. Well, basically anything that looked straight outta London was good to go in the mid-60's. The Beatles were leading the way, as hair started to grow longer and pants fit tighter. Men still wore boots and hats.

ENTERTAINMENT
1962- The first transatlantic television transmission occurs via the Telstar Satellite, making worldwide television and cable networks a reality.
1964-Color television makes its way into U.S. homes.
SPORTS
1965- Skateboards became more popular during this time which lead to companies making a lot of money off selling skateboards. The skateboard also brought an increase of injuries among users which sparked some areas to put restrictions on them or just ban them completely.

1970's

FASHION

Denim was being mass consumed by all ages and seen as the ultimate American garment. Jeans were flared, bell bottom, wide legged, high waist, embroidered, embellished, studded,etc. Denim was not just limited to pants: jean skirts, suits, vests, jackets, hats and accessories were omnipresent. Designer jeans were seen as a status symbol and the more expensive, the more desirable. Punk fashion evolved alongside the musical genre out of open disgust for the status quo, the modern political agenda and the slick overproduced overtly commercial mainstream that rock music had become. Punk rock stripped rock and roll down to basics. Punk was gritty, dangerous and offensive. The clothing represented a darker and harsher view of reality and dissatisfaction with the ideals of conformity.

GAMES
1972- Pong was released which instantly became a popular game in all arcades throughout America. Pong was very similar to the first ever video game that was made in 1958. It revolutionized how some young people spent their free time, instead of playing outside they decided to spend their time at the arcades.
INVENTIONS
1972 – The first digital watch was invented. Time would now be stored onto a memory chip, and this was one of the first forms of data being manipulated in the public world. These first watches were not cheap, during the time they retailed for about two thousand dollars, which amounts to a little over ten thousand dollars with prices adjusted to inflation.
1975 – Steven Sasson created the first digital camera. Taking pictures would now have color! Despite the first digital camera being 0.01 megapixels, this allowed for the future development of modern cameras.
ENTERTAINMENT
1975-ABC, CBS and NBC agree to create a "family hour," an early evening time slot that is free of violence and sex.
MUSIC
Throughout 1970’s – The first known form of rap to surface was music created by Jamaican immigrant, DJ Kool Herc. He played music at parties that had been heavily influenced by the Jamaican culture. Later, the adaptation of speaking fast over musical instruments became popular. People such as Run DMC, and NWA brought the rap scene back to life. The African Community used rap music to discuss problems and cope with the social injustices that were occurring during the time.
1978- The Sony Walkman was introduced to the market, changing how people listen to music. The small radio that had a portable cassette player allowed people to listen to their favorite music on the go! In 1979, the walk-man had sold roughly 5000 units in the first month. The success came later when the walk-man started selling millions of units throughout the 80’s.

1980

ENTERTAINMENT
1980-Ted Turner launches CNN, the first all-news network.

CITATIONS

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