Although the principle for moving pictures had existed for decades, the popularity of motions pictures (aka movies) did not explode until the 1920’s. At this time, most United States film production occurred in Hollywood with some minor movie productions still being made in New Jersey and Long Island (Paramount). By the mid-1920’s, theaters were operating in full swing with some offering double features and selling seats for as low as a nickel a piece. By the end of the 1920’s, there were more than twenty Hollywood studios and together, in a ten year span, they created the greatest output of motion picture feature films in history.
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Vaudeville, popular from the late 1880’s through the early 1930’s, was a theatrical form of entertainment in the United States and Canada. Vaudeville performances, which often ran around the clock, ran a series of separate, unrelated acts which included musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, male and female impersonators, acrobats, jugglers, and one act plays. Famous celebrities were featured at the beginning of the vaudeville shows to attract attendees while the weakest acts put at the end in order to clear the house.
Trousers with legs that became wider from the knees downward were very popular in the 1970’s. Called “bell bottom pants” because of the bell like flare at the bottom of the pants leg, the bell bottom pants craze began in the late 1960’s but bell bottom pants were wore by Navy personnel as early as 1810.
It is sold to children and teenagers labeled as bath salts, fertilizer, or insect repellent under names like Ivory Wave, White Lightning, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky, Cloud 9, or Blue Silk. The label says “not for human consumption” but it is intended to be snorted, swallowed, smoked, or injected. As of 2011, the DEA does not regulate them. Its effects are comparable to methamphetamines or cocaine. And it’s been directly implicated in the deaths of several teenagers.
The 1960’s hippie counter culture movement involved a variety of concerns and beliefs. Their primary belief was that life was about being happy, not about what others thought you should be. Their “if it feels good, do it” attitudes included little forethought nor concern for the consequences of their actions.
The Penny Farthing bicycle came after the development of the ‘Hobbyhorse’, and the French ‘Velocipede’ or ‘Boneshaker’, all versions of early bikes. However, the Penny Farthing was the first truly efficient bicycle, consisting of a small rear wheel and large front wheel attached to an iron tubular frame with tires made of rubber. It was widely used in the 1860’s.
In the 1850’s, the “poke bonnet” hat reached a zenith in women’s fashion. A poke bonnet is a women’s bonnet (hat) in the shape of a hood, featuring a projecting rim on the front side, which would shade the face of the wearer, and a small crown at the back. Poke bonnets typically had a strap that allowed the hat to be tied under the chin. It was called a poke bonnet because there was room in the back of the hat that allowed all of the woman’s hair to be “poked” inside of it.
As of 2011, Facebook has over 600 million active users. It is estimated that 42% of the U.S. population have Facebook accounts. Popular with teenagers, Facebook has risen from a local college social networking site into one of the largest technology companies on the planet. And it did so in less than 5 years.
Prize fighting, or pugilism or bare-knuckle boxing as it is also known as, became very popular during the middle 1800’s. Prizefighting is one of the oldest known sports. Two thousand year old paintings on the walls of Egyptian tombs depict ancient Sumerians competing in boxing matches. Boxing was an Olympic sport in 688 B.C. In ancient Greece, two men would sit face-to-face with fists wrapped in strips of leather, and strike each other repeatedly until one fell unconscious or was killed. Roman fighters wore leather straps plated with metal (called cestuses) in order to keep the lengths of prizefighting matches short.