- 1915 Nat'l Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

1920, lab facilities Langley Field, VA.

"to supervise & direct the scientific study of the problems of flight, with a view to their practical solution".

air-cooled engines,

aeronautical engineering Caltech & MIT.

- 1918 airmail service.

1920, NY-San Fran route.

Boeing, Lockheed, Douglas;

United, American, Pan Am & TWA.

1929, US 61 passenger lines, 47 mail lines, 32 express lines. Air mail 8 million pounds.


1901 General Electric industrial research lab, DuPont, AT&T. 

1930 U.S. over 1,600 corporate R&D facilities.

"better things for better living";

1920s, DuPont – rayon;

- 1934 Wallace Carothers nylon;

plastics - 1935 Plexiglas.


1919-1929, gross nat'l product rose 39%,

manufacturing output almost doubled,  

corporate profits almost doubled. 

Workers wages average 25% higher. 

1917 20% U.S. homes electrified; 1940, 90%;

1910 1 car for every 184 people;

1930 1 car for every 5.


Radio –

1896 Guglielmo Marconi “wireless telegraph”;

“listening in.”

“It’s Great to be a Radio Maniac”:

“Your wits, learning and resourcefulness are matched against the endless perversity of the elements.”

 “DXing" - “distance fiends” or “DX hounds.” 

“How far did you hear last night?  A ten year-old girl in Michigan brings in New York, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, and other distant stations.”

“I can travel over the US and yet remain at home.”

1916 David Sarnoff, “I have in mind a plan of development which would make radio a household utility in the same sense as a piano or phonograph.”

1920 Westinghouse “KDKA Pittsburgh”.

1922, more than 200 radio stations in US; 1926 almost 700.

“There is radio music in the air every night, everywhere.  Anybody can hear it at home on a receiving set which any boy can put up in an hour.”


Listeners did “not sit packed closely, row on row, in stuffy discomfort endured for the delight of the music.  The good wife and I sat there quietly and comfortable alone in our own home… and drank in the harmony coming 300 miles to us through the air.”

Atlanta station “covered Dixie like the dew.”

NBC 1926, CBS 1927 – 1926 World Series;

“unless we watch our step, the chain stations will be the Czars of the Air.”

Collier’s: radio will bring “mutual understanding to all sections of the country, unifying our thoughts, ideals, and purposes, making us a strong and well-knit people.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald– 1920s “Jazz Age”.



1800s, daguerrotypes

George Eastman - 1888 Kodak - "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest".

1870s, Thomas Edison "peep show"

1900s, projector. 

1905 "nickelodeon".

1927 "talking picture" - "The Jazz Singer," Al Jolson.

1930, over 13,000 theaters sound equipment.

color 1935,

100 million tickets per week across country.


Consumer credit - 75% of radios & 60% of cars bought on installment plan. 


1920s census over 50% Americans living in cities & towns.


1918-1941, "Machine Age" –


triumph of sci - Albert Einstein.

- Toys - model airplanes; chemistry sets; Erector set.

Radio show featuring "real engineers and their hair-raising adventures,"

1920s 25% American boys wanted to be engineers.


May 20, 1927 Charles Lindbergh, Spirit of St. Louis. "Lucky Lindy."  “Lone Eagle”


Calvin Coolidge 1923 "The business of America is business. Business is one of the greatest contributing forces to the moral and spiritual advancement of the race."

Bull market - "never sell the United States short,"  "Be a bull on America," "The possibilities of that company are unlimited."    



Herbert Hoover. West Branch IA 1874;


Mining engineer – work Australia, China.

the "Great Engineer".

The “Great Humanitarian”.  

Sec’y Commerce 1921-1928:

over 1000 conferences to cut waste. Standardization, development of new industries (radio, commercial aviation, television);

1928 presidential campaign – US "soon in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation” - landslide.