Douglas Historical Society to open new exhibitBy Lavinia Spivey
The 1920s burst into history defiant of the past and eager for the future. Tired of the war and its restrictions and angry and horrified at the death of so many young men in the muddy trenches in France, the younger generation threw aside the fashions, traditions, and values of their Victorian predecessors. Women were gaining more independence: they had already won the right to vote and during WWI many had found the satisfaction of work outside the drudgery of the home. They did away with heavy corsets, shortened their skirts and bobbed their hair. A great many even defied Prohibition and the repressive proscriptions of their parents to smoke and drink publically and dance to risqué music in the speakeasies and backroom clubs of the Jazz Age 20s.
As social/cultural changes banished the prim Victorian values, women had less time or interest in housework. Electricity had been around since before the beginning of the 20th century and many appliances had been electrified. In the 20s the demand for ever more efficient appliances, fanned by the growing advertising industry, led to the improvement and perfection of appliances that were already electrified and the invention of new ones, often creative and amusing. The munitions industry from WWI easily converted their factories to mass producing electric toasters, doorbells, stoves, and eventually refrigerators. “Keeping up with the Joneses” no longer meant having the best cook but rather the most electric appliances, gadgets, and conveniences.
In celebration of the City of Douglas and its citizens in the 1920s, the Douglas Historical Society has mounted an exhibit of exquisite dresses and accessories, electrical appliances, and a series of photo displays of Douglas in the 1920s. This exhibit “Douglas in the Electrified Generation, the 1920s” will open with a reception on Saturday, February 11th, 10-2 at the Douglas-Williams House, 1001 D Avenue. Refreshments made from a 1920s Fannie Farmer cookbook will be served. All are invited.