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Roaring Twenties


Politics and Regional Protests
Foreign Investment
Canada's Growing Autonomy
Canadian Culture
20 Questions for the Twenties
Interesting facts
Veterans and Social Support
Fads, Fashions, & American Influences
Women in the 1920s
Economic Development Of Canada
Post-War Problems
Aboriginal Political Movements
Twenties Talk
Labour Unrest
Important People

These are some of the great inventions of the 1920s!

The Radio
-The radio was the great communication invention of the 1920s.
-Radio signals across Canada could now broadcast voices, news, weather, bible readings, soap operas, crime and western dramas, comedy and variety, coverage on major sports, advertising for businesses and music.
-People in the remotest areas of Canada were no longer isolated and were brought in contact with other cities of the nation.
-The radio was affordable to both rich and the poor.
-The first  Radio broadcast : May 20th, 1920, Montreal station XWA (later became CFCF). It relayed a musical programme to a meeting of Royal society in Ottawa.
-1922- Over 30 canadian radio stations were in some stage of operation and swelled to 91 by mid-decade.
-In Halifax- Marconi set up a small broadcasting station, in Toronto the Daily Star set up their own station, and there were stations in Edmonton and Regina.
-Radio stations were extremely crude and jerry-built.
-Radio station consisted of: coils of wire stuck in soap boxes, taped connections, switches, "dishpan" mikes, Alice-in-Wonderland antennas of shaky masts, stays and braces, and technicians who wrote rules even as they made broadcasting history.
-Broadcasts were not pre-recorded and were unreheased and amateurish.
-Radio stations became more efficient overtime and boosted transmitting power to cover larger and larger areas.
-The earliest home  radio sets were operated by moving a fine wire called a "whisker" over the surface of a crystal.
-Earphones were needed because the sound was not loud.
-People in families would often take turns sharing the earpiece  in order to get their turn listening.
-The person who was listening often communicate what was going on to others.
-More expensive radio sets appeared in stores after long. They were built in elaborate wooden cabinets, tubes replaced the crystal and whisker, and speakers replaced earphones. They operated by large batteries that had to be recharged frequently.
-The radio craze swept the country and the great demand for recievers far exceeded supply.
-The Edmonton journal and other newspapers ran articles on how to build a do-it-yourself set for under $3.
-In 1923 there had been less than 10,000 radio sets in Canada, but by the end of the decade there were 300,000.
-The reason why so many people were buying radios was because  they felt more free to spend their earnings in this time of economic prosperity.
-The radio was competition for the newspaper.
-The Radio brought Canada and the U.S together.
-Canadians listened to more American programs than their own domestic programs.
-This was partly due to geography and the availability of many U.S. signals. Canadians also claimed American radio offered them more choices. The small, generally low-powered domestic stations  in Canada were unable to compete.
-One notable exception -- hockey.
-Hockey games were the most popular radio programs of the period within Canada. They began in 1923 with Foster Hewitt. Within a decade, Saturday night hockey broadcasts became a nationwide tradition.
-1929- government took ownership of all radio in Canada.
-The federal government collected an annual $1 for each recieving set.
-1929- the first wireless message was recieved in Edmonton.
Important people involved with Radio:
*Gugliemo Marconi- he was the inventor of the first wireless radio, set up the first commercial radio station in Toronto in 1919.
* Ted Rogers-  In 1924/1925 he discovered a way of plugging the radio directly into household electric current, he invented the word's first battery-less radio (sold for $150), set up his own radio station in Toronto (1927).
*Foster Hewitt- Canadian broadcaster for Hockey night in Canada.
*Henry Thorton-president of Canadian National railways decided to install radio recievers on his trains to attract customers.

-The first car was created in the 1920s  and made by Henry Ford
- Ford wanted to mass produce to make inexpensive car everyone could buy
-Created assemby lines
-The more people that worked on cars, the cheaper they became
-Produced the Model T at a price most North American could afford ($365-1924)
- Nicknamed "Tin Lizzy"
-Travel far distances
-Made for easier travel into city by people who lived in isolated areas (ex. farmers)
-Became a status symbol
-These cars helped people move out of the city and live farther away. They caused the expansion of suburbs.
-They helped with the good life
-More private than riding public transit
-Standard equipment: Crank-started engine, Tow Row- pull car out of mud/snow
-1929-automobile industry was big in Canada
-" Big three"-General Motors,Chrysler,Ford
-Helped with spinoff industries (ex. gas, rubber)
-Government put more money into improving roads
-Tourist industry benefited
-Car caused problems too:
1)polluted air
2)traffic jams
4)criminals could make quit get away


  Stunt flyers and air travel were also part of the 1920’s. Canadian pilots returning from the war were eager to continue flying. Many bought planes which they would fly over country fairs, performing stunts.

Other flyers got jobs as bush pilots. Many oil and mining companies would hire pilots to get people and supplies to remote areas. Bush pilots helped to open northern frontiers of Canada. Planes were also used to spot forest fires, and to take aerial photography and geological surveys.

In 1924 the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was formed. The government believed that military planes could be justified only if they were used for peaceful purposes.

In 1929, when a case of deptheria outbroke in Alberta, they used planes to deliver the medicines.

Eventually, the government, as well as the public, began to realize the potential that aviation had to improve our way of life, as well as the possibilities of passenger air travel. By 1927, small carrier planes were flying people from city to city, although there was no national air service.

One of the most common planes @ the time



-The first dial phones appeared in Toronto in 1924 and three years later the combined handset with mouthpiece and earphone on the same unit came into use.


-By 1929 the phone became widely used.


-Three out of four families had one, and calls could be made across town, across Canada or across the sea on a “pay when billed” basis.


-The telephone shrank distances.

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