Mass Media

Radio | Movies | Magazines | Historical Significance | Bibliography As the 1920's roared on, America saw the innovation and rise of many creations never seen or popularly used before. The inventions and trends occurring in mass media in the 1920's would not only have an effect on urban and rural populations alike, but in the long term of our nation as well. Some of these major advancements include the invention and usage of the radio, a huge growth in the following of movies, and popularization of the magazine‍.


Of major importance to the growth of technology and to mass media in the 1920's was the radio. The radio was the creation of Guglielmo Marconi, born in Bologna, Italy in 1874 with a particular interest in physical and electrical science. It was in 1895 that he began experimenting and was able to send wireless signals across a distance of 1.5 miles. Then in the year of 1896 Marconi took his device to England, where he received the first patent. In 1914, he became part of the Italian Army and his apparatus for communication was put to good use. [1] This was the largest purpose the radio served up until the year of 1920 when the radio really had it's break out.

Few people owned radios and used them as hobbies with little understanding in the early !900's. But in the year 1920, the Westinghouse Company, owned by George Westinghouse of New York, manufactured the common crystal radios and created the first ever radio station, KDKA. In 1920, KDKA had the first radio broadcast, which was of the Harding-Cox presidential election‍.[2]

This is an example of what one of the first radios made looks like


Movies popularity exploded in the early 1920's. Most movies before hand were short and simple until D.W. Griffith produced The Birth of a Nation. It introduced many advanced film making techniques. The cartoon character was born around this time, approximentaly 1928, featuring Walt Disneys film Steam Boat Willie. By the end of the decade experts estimated americans bought 100 million movie tickets a week.

Although various attempts had been made to introduce sound, it wasn't until 1923 that a commercially distributed film contained a synchronised sound track that was photographically recorded and printed on to the side of the strip of motion picture film.

By 1927 Hollywood had become the center of movie-making in the U.S. with 85% of U.S. movie production occurring in or around Hollywood.
Good weather and a wide variety of scenic locations were factors in its success. Whole new industries grew in conjunction with the film business including zoos and animal supply companies, costume suppliers, and casting agencies.

The five most biggest producing movie studios were
1. Warner Brothers
2. Paramount
3. RKO
4. Metro Glodwyn-Mayer
5. Fox Film Co.[4]

Top 10 movies during this time were: Metropolis, Sunrise, Letzte Mann, Nibelungen, The Wind, Napolean, A Symphony of Horror, Pandoras Box, Seventh Heaven, & Faust‍.
These lists are significantly important because it shows what people were into during thistime. there movies are way different then that of what we watch today. Although we still have some of the producing movie studios they had today.
The Silent Screen stars of the decade were: Rudolph Valentino, and Clara Bow. Rudy Vallee was known for singing through his megaphone.
Don Juan, the first talking picture, starring John Barrymore premiered on Broadway in 1926.
The first Oscars were given in 1927. the first Oscar movie was a Paramount Picture, called Wings, and Emil Jennings and Janet Gaynor won best acting awards.
Broadway reached an all time peak. Gershwin was smokin' with An American in Paris, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein created Show Boat starring Helen Morgan. Fred and Adele Astaire opened in Funny Face. There were 268 plays offered in New York City in the year 1927.

This is what the top rated movie at this time looked like


‍Although Radio and Movies were much more popular during this time, magazines were also a huge hit!
In 1922 Time is the first weekley news magazine. [5]

Also, Vouge was a popular magazine artical at this time. The Wallstreet Journal was also one good artical peice.[6]

Billboard Magazine published its first charts in 1928. Bing Crosby and other crooner singing stars boosted their sales with their live and recorded radio performances.
Vouge was the most popular magazine at this time

The roll of religion was not only changing in the world, but in the newsrooms as well; by the late Forties, religion editors would join poetry editors on the unemployment line. The Wall Street Journal is one of the few existing publications to still print the musings of a religion editor; to their credit he recently opined that the only religious voice Americans hear on a regular basis is that of the animated cartoon character "Flanders", from "The Simpsons".

Poetry was also once a popular topic during this time. Alot of people would write about what they were going through and the wars that had occured, in a sense to release what they were going through.

Historical Significance

Mass media is so significant during this time because we still have all three of these things today, and they are just as popular. it opened up alot of doors for many actresses, movie stars, magazine editors, and musicans. Mass media is very popular today. Everyone still will go to the movies. People will pay $12 for one magazine and we listen to radio in our cars every single day and at home, on our ipods, in the shower or while we are doing work. Without the radio I believe car rides would be very boring.

I myself don't believe the 1920's would have been the same without mass media because it just simply wouldnt be the same. No one would own radios, telivisions, or even know what a magazine was. Many Many people would not have been as fourtante because they wouldnt have become movie stars, or musicans. Thats what made alot of the people back then and still toda‍y.


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