Major Developments of the
Radio, Airplanes, Automobiles, Entertainment,
Fashion, Sports, Science and Medicine
The first radio broadcast in North
America was in Montreal on May
20, 1920.
The first radios were very crude
with very poor sound quality.
In 1924-25 a Canadian electronics
engineer named Ted Rogers came
up with the idea of creating a radio
that could plug into an electric
outlet. Hence, he created the first
“batteryless” radio.
Most radio stations were American.
80% of the radio stations that
Canadians listened to were
American. What impact did this
have on Canadian culture?
As a result of the “Americanization”
of the airwaves, the CBC (Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation was
created in 1936.
• The first Broadcast of
Canadian content that
was widely listened to
was Foster Hewitt’s
Hockey Night in
Canada on Mar 22,
• For a Video Clip of
Foster Hewitt and
Maple Leaf Gardens,
Foster Hewitt - CBC
Foster Hewitt
Hockey Night in Canada:
Leafs vs. Canadiens
The Telephone
• Alexander Graham
Bell (1847-1922)
• Born in Edinburgh,
Scotland. Came to
Canada in 1870 at
the age of 23.
• Invented in
telephone in
Brantford, Ontario.
Alexander Graham Bell
The Telephone
• The first telephones
were noisy and
difficult to use
• By the 1920s, only 1
in 4 families had a
However, by 1929, 3
out of 4 Families
had a telephone
1920s Style Telephone
The Telephone
• Dial telephones were
introduced in 1924.
• The impact of the
telephone is Canada
was immediate. It
brought Canadians
closer to together;
especially those who
lived in isolated areas.
The Airplane
• Dec 17th, 1903,
the Wright
Brothers perform
the first
successful flight
of an Airplane at
Kitty Hawk, NC.
The Airplane
After WW1, many of the fighter
pilots from the war took on careers
as “bush pilots”.
This eventually led to the first
commercial flights across Canada.
Many Bush pilots flew to very
remote sections of Canada’s
northern territories in difficult
weather carrying much needed
supplies: mail, medicine, food,
tools, etc.
With the growth of the commercial
airline industry, Canadians were no
longer isolated from one another.
What impact would the growth of
the airline business have on
Canadian unity?
Bush pilot delivering much
needed supplies
The Automobile
• In 1893, Henry
Ford built his first
• By 1908, he built
his first “production
car”; the “Model T”
• This car was also
known as the “Tin
Henry Ford
The Automobile
The car was initially very expensive
to build. As a result, Ford invented
the “Assembly line” which allowed
the car to be mass produced
quickly and efficiently dramatically
decreasing its cost.
The Model T’s were built in
Windsor, Ont.
Canada and the United States
reacted to the invention of the car
by building roads, gas stations,
parking lots and drive in motels.
Demand for the car was so high
that Ford had a very difficult time
keeping up with production.
Millions of new jobs were created.
The “Roaring 20s” were in full
Ford’s first model
The Assembly line
Of The Model T
Advances in Medicine
• Before the 1920s, millions of
people around the world had
died from Diabetes.
• In 1921, Banting produced
insulin that successfully
controlled diabetes in dogs.
• In 1922, a 14 year old boy was
the first patient to be injected
with insulin. Insulin was is not a
cure. However, it controls
diabetes and thus extends the
life of those who have the
Frederick Banting and his assistant
Charles Best at the U of T Lab
Advances in Medicine
• In 1923, Banting along
with three other
colleagues received
the Nobel Prize for
• Many years later,
Banting made the Top
Ten on the CBC
Contest “Who is the
Greatest Canadian?”
• (He beat Don Cherry)
Banting and Best with their
first successful patient!
• In the 1920s, many
people wanted to
forget the war and
have some fun.
• Some call these years
the “age of wonderful
• Dances like the
Charleston were all
the rage.
• Jazz was also very
The Charleston
“Satchmo” Louis Armstrong
Famous Jazz Artist
• In the 1920s, the silent
film industry made
instant stars out of
celebrities like Greta
Garbo and Charlie
• In 1927, the first
talking picture came
out; “The Jazz Singer”
starring Al Jolson
Charlie Chaplin
The First Talking
• Mary Pickford was a major
movie star during the 1920s
and 1930s.
• Born in Toronto, she was
actually known as “America’s
• She was the first woman to
make over $ 1 Million per year
in Hollywood.
• Together with Charlie Chaplin
and her husband Douglas
Fairbanks she created United
Artists; a massive film recording
business that today is a billions.
A Hollywood Star
Mary Pickford
• Fashion changed for women in
the 1920s. Hemlines rose
“above the knee”
• A Boyish look in dress and hair
was modern in the 1920s
• Women had the right to vote
and were trying to indicate that
they were equal to men
through their dress.
• Some women lived as “nonconformists”; that is, they did
not behave like traditional
women. They were known as
The “Flapper”
• Some young women who lived
in cities were seen as
“uncontrollable” and “immoral”
• A “Flapper” was seen as
someone who: wore too much
makeup and perfume, used bad
language, smoked cigarettes,
drank alcohol and wore
revealing clothing.
• They liked to go to parties and
stay out all night dancing and
driving in fast cars.
• They loved to dance and
embraced the new dance
craze– the “Charleston”.
The “Flapper” Lifestyle
• "He shoots, he scores!"
With those words,
legendary hockey
The Legendary Foster
broadcaster Foster Hewitt
united Canada each
Saturday night. From his
inauspicious first broadcast
(shouting into a telephone
from a foggy glass booth in
1923) to the momentous
Summit Series of 1972 and
beyond, Hewitt was
Canada's voice of hockey
The Leafs vs. The
for half a century.
Habs: M
Maple Leaf Gardens:
Howie Morenz of the Montreal
Canadiens was one of the dominant
offensive forces in the NHL in the
late 1920s and early 1930s. He
scored a league-high 51 points in
1927-28 and was presented with
the Hart Trophy.
• Morenz also contributed to the
Canadiens' consecutive Stanley
Cup wins in 1930 and 1931.
• Lionel Conacher was considered to
be the greatest all-round athlete
ever turned out by Canada.
• In addition to being one of the
finest hockey players in history, he
was also rated high in baseball,
rugby, lacrosse, rowing and boxing.
Lionel Conacher
Howie Morenz
The Bluenose is considered to be
Canada’s most famous ship
(Appears on Canada’s 10 cent
• First launched in 1921 in
Lunenburg, NS.
• The Bluenose was the
undefeated champion of the
International fisherman's
• The original Bluenose was
wrecked off the coast of Haiti
in 1946. However, the
“Bluenose 2” was built in 1963.
• This vessel can still be toured
“The Bluenose”
• In 1928 at the age of only 20,
Percy Williams shocked the
Canadian track establishment,
winning the 100 and the 200
metre races at the Canadian
• What made this
accomplishment all the more
noteworthy is that Williams had
never before competed in a
100m race!
• His time of 10.6 seconds
equaled the Olympic record!
Percy Williams
During their quarter-century of
participation in women’s basketball,
the Grads compiled an astounding
record of 502 wins and only 20 losses.
The Grads were coached by the
inventor of the game of Basketball; Dr.
James Naismith.
Born in Ontario and educated at
McGill University, Dr. James Naismith
invented the game of basketball in a
YMCA gymnasium in Springfield,
Mass., and developed basketball’s
original 13 rules
James Naismith called the Edmonton
Grads “the finest basketball team that
ever stepped out on a floor.”
Dr. James Naismith
The Edmonton Grads

Technological Developments of the 1920s