The “roaring 20’s” as they were called, began with such promise. The United States was reeling from World War I (1914-1918) and the great influenza epidemic of 1918. The 1920’s could only be better, right?
There were many great things that came out of the 20’s, but on the other hand, there were also some not-so-great things that the 1920’s are known for.
First up, the Ku Klux Klan, an organization advocating white supremacy, anti-communism and anti-immigration through the use of terrorism. Still alive today, the KKK originally began in the late 1800’s but flourished again in the 1920’s.
What came next? Prohibition. Prohibition was RAGING in the 1920’s in the United States, and finally died out in the early 1930’s. Prohibition was instituted in 1919 and prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States.”
Just reading that makes me want to reach for a drink, I don’t know about you. What’s this all mean? It means that once people figured out what prohibition was all about, they started bootlegging their own booze and soon prohibition was…. well, prohibited. Drinking is still a popular hobby for people around the world today! Go figure!
However, some fun things were born out of the prohibition era. Speakeasies, gangsters and “Flapper’s”! C’mon, this was the life!
This is where these great illustrations from GritFX come in. Grabbing inspiration from the United States in the 1920’s, GritFX have created some fine examples of how many women in the 1920’s would dress and act.
Once Prohibition of Alcohol came to light in the early 1920’s, suddenly nightlife seemed to go underground. Many people opposed the law and would hit the streets at night and head to unlawful nightclubs called “speakeasies”. This is where the “Flapper” women would hang out, wearing short skirts, short hair, slathering make-up on their faces and puffing on long cigarettes. This was very popular with their bootlegging, gangster boyfriends who were breaking the law by distributing liquor.
There truly is so much to touch upon regarding the 1920’s, personally I think it was a very important time in American history. If it weren’t for this decade, we wouldn’t have cars, radios, and the “talkies” – movies with real sound!
One more great thing came out of the 1920’s and that was women’s right to vote. Pushing for the right since 1848, it finally became legal for women to vote throughout the United States in 1920.
Being born in the 1970s myself, I could never imagine not having the right to vote, and it saddens me to think there was ever a time that my ancestors were unable to carry out this simple right. I am still thankful for this right today, and because of it, I make sure to rock the vote every chance I get.
As the 1920’s wound down, so did the economy. The end of the 1920’s brought with it the beginning of the Great Depression, which lasted into the early 1940’s. It began on “Black Friday” with the fall of the stock market on October 29th, and spread throughout the world into almost every country.
I’m sure many people dancing the Charlston in speakeasies in the 1920’s longed for those good ole days, I know I would’ve.
I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend a great film that captures the feeling of flapper’s and prohibition (even though it was based in the 1930’s), “Paper Moon”. For those who have never seen it, take time out to watch it. Especially if you are interested in this era. It gets two thumbs waaaaay up…. From me and from Dave at GritFX!
Big thanks goes out to the crew over at GritFX for allowing me to pen this article. I hope I have given you all a glimpse into the 1920’s, and I equally hope you enjoy these great illustrations as much as I have.
By Kelly Murphy of Saucewear
Many thanks to Kelly for taking time out of her busy schedule to pen this article. It’s an honour that she took the time to temporarily depart from her usual blogging over at the Tee Gazette and write a piece to mark the launch of this illustrated range of designs. I’ve enjoyed my visit to the 1920’s… I think I should have been alive back then. ~ Manz.
For more information regarding the “Roaring 20’s” t-shirts & postcards, visit the GritFX main domain…