The 20’s roared because of prohibition and rum running, and at the same time women had been liberated. They’d been trussed up in corsets and imprisoned by social constraints and stuck with all the housework and childbearing besides. For a young woman to have the opportunity to be who she chose to be instead of dutifully fulfilling her parent’s expectations – well, I know how I’d feel. It was bad enough growing up in the 50’s!
So we have Emily and Pris, who had been following the traditional path (as far as we know) insofar as “dutifully fulfilling” parental expectations. But I suspect that, together at Bryn Mawr, a lot more went on than either set of parents suspected.
This led inevitably me to the mode of dress that these party people adopted. The flapper is fairly well known (though not among very young people, I find) with her boyish figure, dropped hemline, feather boa, a necklace down to her waist and a head band often sporting a feather.
I think the most distinctive wear for men was the straw boater, which apparently you wore when you weren’t sporting a fedora.
Certainly a big part of the scene was the automobile. It was a game-changer.Did Henry Ford know how profoundly his invention would affect American life?
His was not the first car on the market, nor the first to be invented, but his application of the production line is what made his model T affordable for a whole lot of Americans. The 20’s was a prosperous era, and more people had more money to spend than ever before.
And while we’re at it, lets not forget the rumble seat!