Monday, December 10, 2012

Big Decades- 1920s and 1960s

Today I want to go over two of the largest fad areas in history. Those would be the 1920s, or roaring 20s, and the 1960s. Both of these were very influential times as far as fads go and lets just say they were not quite the "norm" at their time. 

The Roaring 20s
First lets start out with the 1920s. Probably the most famous decade in fad history. 
The fads started out rather normal such as the fashion of leather jackets and aviator or pilot hats. It is believed this fashion came from the iconic figure of the time, Charles Lindbergh, who had just made history by flying across the Atlantic.
Not all the fads were quite so normal though. Some of the more known (or as I think more interesting) examples include flag pole sitting, and flappers.

 In the 1920s flappers were young women who went against the current style, of being conservative, housewives. They cut their hair to a bob, wore shorter skirts or dresses, and were considered scandalous for their time.

Flagpole sitting is my personal favorite. Just the idea that someone did this in the first place I find ridiculous, but the fact that other people started copying him I can not even begin to understand. 
I bet you want to know how this crazy fad got started, well let me tell you. 

It all started in 1924 when a man named Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly was dared to sit on a flagpole. Kelly took the dare (why?!) and sat on the pole for 13 hours and 13 minutes. Soon after people everywhere started trying to break his record and sit for a longer time, and soon this odd fad emerged. 

This fad died out by 1930, with the longest record consisting of 51 days. I  do not know if anything can explain why people thought this was a good idea, but lets take a look at what was going on in the world during this time. In the 1920s, World War I was just ending and our troops were coming back full of patriotism, because America had come out on top. The people were overwhelmed with happiness and joy, and had a newfound courage. 

The 1960s
I am sure everyone knows what bell bottom jeans and peace signs are, but does everyone know where it came from? 

Bellbottoms and lava lamps defined the 1960s, the new fashion of extra flared jeans could be found almost anywhere. In the 50s people were more straight edge and tight laced, the 60s brought some rebellion. Teens were especially found of this rebellion, they took a new approach to everything, a much calmer one. Since the Vietnam war was during this time the “Make Love, Not War” movement started during this area, and along with it formed the hippies.

A Quick Look Through the Decades

 In my last post “As early was the 1900s” I told you about some of the fads started way back when, and while some years were not quite as interesting as others, every decade had their fads.

Today I am just going to take the time to give a brief overview of some of the less known decades and their fads of choice.

First the 1910s
In 1910 marbles were a big hit, epically for school children. Before this glass was fragile and expensive, but someone had found a cheaper way of producing it, now making it affordable for the average family. Children played the game on school playgrounds by drawing a circle in the dirt as the playing field.  Marbles got so popular at the time there was a Marbles Torment held. The fad died down though when school playgrounds started being blacktopped in the 1920s.

I am going to skip the 1920s for now because it was a huge time for fads and will be discussed in a later post. 

Next is theThe 1930s were not a big time for fads. The great depression started and families had no money for entertainment or excess needs. One main interest at this time thought, was something called Big Little books. These were 2inch by 3 inch, 300-400 page book cubes sold for a dime.

The 1950s
A big fad in the 50s were poodle skirts. Rock had just started to become big at the time and ladies wanted to wear something more free to dance in!

Elvis Presley was another big 50s fad icon. When his music came out, teens just couldn't get enough of the new sound. 

The 1960s were also a huge time for fads and new ideas, so it will be discussed in a later post.

The 1970s
As we move into the 70s area, we start to see more Afros, and disco dancing making an appearance. As I am sure most of us know, an Afro is a term for big, often teased African American hair. “Black is beautiful” became a big thing as people become more accepting of African Americans in society. Many African American stars such as the Jackson 5 came out of this time period. 


The  1980s
From shoulder pads to boomboxes, the 1980s pushed the limits in ways rarely seen before. People wore leg warmers, huge bows, bright colors and were not afraid to stand out. 

And today 
I'm sure all of you remember the 90s and the oh so wonderful Furbys, Backstreet boys, and so on..
So I won't say a lot about the topic but why don't we reminisce with a few photos.