New York: the world’s largest city in 1925 AD

28.04.2015 |

Episode #10 of the course “Greatest Cities Throughout History”

The 1920s were definitely a booming time for the United States; in fact, the decade is often referred to as the “Roaring Twenties.” New York City built enormous bridges and buildings, and industry was extremely profitable. Immigrants and rural Americans flocked to New York City filled with the promise of industry and a better lifestyle. For the first time in history, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. In 1925, there were roughly 7.7 million people in New York City, and today there are still about 8 million people that call New York City home.

New York City boasted skyscrapers, underground power lines, sewer lines, and power lines. These changes were never before seen on such a large scale. Even with these advances, however, the city couldn’t build roads fast enough to keep up with the increasing popularity of the automobile. By the end of the 1920s, there were more than 500,000 new cars on the streets in New York. Needless to say, traffic was terrible.

The 1920s in New York was also the age of the famous “flapper,” which was a woman who had short bobbed hair and wore short skirts or dresses. She smoke, drank, and challenged the norms of how a woman should behave in that era. However, the reality was that most 1920s New York women did not do any of these things. It certainly wasn’t an oppressive society, though; women were still granted freedoms during this time that they never had before. They gained the right to vote in 1920 and were sometimes employed, so they could now participate in the booming consumer economy in New York. Birth control was more available, helping women control how many children they had. In fact, women even spent less time doing chores at home with the invention of the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine.


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