Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos

Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos

Jacob Miller - August 15, 2018

The Roaring Twenties was a period of economic prosperity and social, artistic, and cultural opulence which occurred in the wake of World War 1. The Roaring Twenties witnessed large-scale development of technologies such as the automobile, telephone, movies, and radio.

The Roaring Twenties saw the rise of jazz, the blues, and dance clubs. There was a break away from the more traditional Foxtrots and Waltzes, to the more eccentric and novel Breakaway and Charleston, based on African American musical styles and beats.

Flappers were the generation of women in the Roaring 20s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and broke away from all traditional societal norms. Flappers were renowned for their makeup, drinking, smoking, driving, and casual sex.

“In all countries, the First World War weakened old orthodoxies and authorities, and, when it was over, neither government nor church nor school nor family had the power to regulate the lives of human beings as it had once done. One result of this was a profound change in manners and morals that made a freer and less restrained society. Women benefited from this as much as anyone else. Time-worn prescriptions concerning what was or was not proper behavior for them no longer possessed much credibility, and taboos about unaccompanied appearances in public places, or the use of liquor or tobacco, or even pre-marital sexual relationships had lost their force. … [W]omen were no longer as vulnerable to the tyranny of society as they had been [before].” — Historian Gordon A. Craig

The Roaring Twenties also saw the Harlem Renaissance, the intellectual, social, and artistic movement that took place in Harlem, NY. Although the movement is said to have begun in 1918, it hit its zenith in 1924 with the publication of the academic journal published by the National Urban League entitled, Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life.

During the Harlem Renaissance, African Americans used art as an expression of their humanity, demand equality, and lay the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement. The Harlem Renaissance brought the ‘black’ experience into the lexes of American cultural, and sociological, history.

Overall, the Roaring Twenties were marked by a spirit of novelty and modernity. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 ended the era, and so began the Great Depression.

Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Bee Jackson, the World Champion of the 1920s dance craze the Charleston. Photo- Hulton-Deutsch Collection: Corbis Expand Photo
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Couturier Jacques Fath takes the party out on his lawn, accompanied with Gene Tierney, dressed as a flapper. Photo- Bettmann: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Louise Brooks. Photo- Bettmann: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Dancing at a cabaret. Photo Sygma: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Model Claudia Dell poses semi-nude in nothing but feathers and fringed silk. Photo- Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Germaine, a twenties model, wears a turban and pearl necklace. Photo- Hulton-Deutsch Collection: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Josephine Baker once graced the Moulin Rouge stage with her famous banana dance, which is still performed by solo dancers today. Photo- Julio Donoso:Sygma: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
A photographic montage of the Charleston. Photo- Hulton-Deutsch Collection: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Actress Nancy Carroll reclines fashionably in silk fringe. Photo- John Springer Collection: Corbis
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Rebel with a garter flask, 1926. whizzpast

 

Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
A couple of fashionable women, 1920s. whizzpast
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Miss Universe Ella Van Hueson, circa June 16, 1928. whizzpast
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Dancing the Charleston on a railing in front of the US Capitol. whizzpast
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Silent film star Evelyn Brent, 1924. whizzpast
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Washington Cat Show at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington D.C. whizzpast
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Cambridge undergraduates, 1926. whizzpast

 

Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
1920s amusement park. whizzpast
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Coney Island beach, July 1922. Photo from NYC Municipal Archives via the Atlantic Cities.
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Flappers drinking bootleg alcohol during prohibition, summer 1925. Photo via the New Yorker.
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Celebrating the repeal of Prohibition at the Casino in Central Park in 1933. Credit Bettmann: CORBIS
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
The Central Park casino became a hot nightspot after Mayor Jimmy Walker pledged to revamp it when he took office in 1926. The New Yorker
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Some solid advice during the July 4, 1921, anti-prohibition parade. Photo via MCNY
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Looking dapper during the July 4, 1921 prohibition parade. Photo via MCNY
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
More signs in the July 4, 1921, anti-prohibition parade. Photo via MCNY
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Flapper girls, summer 1920s. Photo via Beautiful Little Fools
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Jazz showgirls at the $7,000,000 home of Senator William A. Clark, on Fifth Avenue. 1927. Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
New York City prohibition agents dumping liquor into the gutter. allthatisinteresting
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
The Cotton Club on 142nd Street. allthatisinteresting
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Times Square illuminated during the 1920s. allthatisinteresting
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Harlem became a cultural hub for dynamic jazz and blues as well as a platform for rising jazz artists like Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Coleman Hawkins and “King” Oliver. allthatisinteresting
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Model Hannah Lee Sherman dressed in a Chanel coat, brimless hat, fox stole, suede bag, and snakeskin shoes is helped out of a car on Park Avenue. Getty Images

Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
A flapper looks back at the camera before she gets into the waiting car. allthatisinteresting
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Customs men examining liquor seized from a rum-runner ship from Havana that docked at a port on the harbor of New York. Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Lucky Luciano, mobster and crime boss, drinking a glass of wine. Wikimedia Commons
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1924. allthatisinteresting
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Santa Claus rides a float at the 1925 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
The Dolly sisters were twins who came to epitomize the extravagance of the 1920s – they were paid $1,200 a night to appear at the Moulin Rouge (Credit- James Abbe Archive)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Tennis player Suzanne Lenglen won the gold medal in the women’s singles competition at the 1920 Olympics and exemplified the ‘20s sportswoman (Credit- Wikipedia)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Contestants in the Bathing Girl Revue. Galveston, Texas, May 14th, 1922. (Joseph M. Maurer: Library of Congress)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Venice Bathing Beauty Pageant, 1926. (Miles F. Weaver: Library of Congress)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Third International Pageant of Pulchritude and Ninth Annual Bathing Girl Revue (view with arms up). Galveston, Texas, 1928. (Joseph M. Maurer: Library of Congress)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda pose for a portrait in 1921, four years before ‘The Great Gatsby’ was published. Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Jelly Roll Morton plays piano with his band The Red Hot Peppers, circa 1926. Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Josephine Baker performing the Charleston. Wikipedia
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
A flapper dancing at an extravagant party. owwmedia
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
NYC speakeasy scene during prohibition. (Getty Images)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
The bartender at the 21 Club speakeasy in New York. (Margaret Bourke-White: Getty Images)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
1920s party at Montparnasse café. Pinterest
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Flappers dance while musicians perform during a dance contest in Charleston, South Carolina, 1926. Hulton Archive: Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Louise Brooks 1920 | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons the free media repository
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Carefree, reckless, flappers seemed to enjoy living on the edge, like these atop Chicago’s Sherman Hotel. (George Rinhart: Corbis via Getty Images)
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Flappers in 1928, drinking at a luncheon. Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Flappers in the park. thesocietypages
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford on board the SS Lapland wearing fashions of the early 1920s. Wikipedia
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Bride in wedding dress flanked by her bridesmaids, 11 September 1929, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wikipedia
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Gerald and Sara Murphy in costume at Étienne de Beaumont’s Automotive Ball. Yale Library
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Some members of the Bloomsbury set at a quiet tea on the verandah in 1929. Photograph- Dora Carrington:Getty Images
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Nightclubs were places of refuge for African-Americans during the Harlem Renaissance. These were the spaces where they could enjoy music and swing dance in a welcoming environment. Bettman Archive
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Small’s Paradise was one of the most popular jazz clubs of the era. Opened in 1925, the club was owned by an African-American man and welcomed both white and black customers, making it one of the only integrated clubs in Harlem. This club was known for popularizing the now iconic Charleston style of swing dance. Bettman Archives
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Though you may not know the name of dancer Shorty George Snowden, you’ve likely heard of his most famous creation- The Lindy Hop, the most well-known form of swing dancing. Swing dancers at a club in Mississippi, 1939. Wikimedia Commons
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Another popular spot was the Savoy Ballroom, where young men, decked out in the era’s popular zoot suite, gathered to listen to jazz. The Savoy was also a well known for hosting some of Harlem’s most talented Lindy Hoppers. Like Small’s Paradise, the Savoy Ballroom allowed entry to all patrons, regardless of race or background. Writer Barbara Englebrecht called the Savoy the “soul of the neighborhood.”Bettman Archive
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Couples jitterbug at the Savoy Ballroom. Bettman Archive
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
Though Harlem jazz hot spot The Cotton Club only admitted white patrons, its stage regularly featured the best African-American jazz musicians and singers of the time. The club showcased orchestras led by greats like Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. In light of this double standard, the poet Langston Hughes criticized The Cotton Club’s racist policies, calling it “a Jim Crow club for gangsters and monied whites.” In 1935, the club closed after race riots broke out in Harlem, briefly moving to midtown, then closing for good in 1940. Cab Calloway in 1947.Wikimedia Commons
Epic Parties you Wish You Went To: The Roaring 20s in Photos
An originator of big-band jazz, Duke Ellington was the bandleader at the Cotton Club. Originally from Washington D.C., Ellington moved to New York as jazz became the dominant form of music during the Harlem Renaissance. His engagements at the Cotton Club landed the band a weekly radio program that spread the jazz craze throughout the country. Duke Ellington at the Hurricane Ballroom. Wikimedia Commons

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