Unit VIII – Boom
Times and Challenges
Chapter 24 Section 1
Boom Times
Boom Times
The Big Idea
American industries boomed in the 1920s, changing many
Americans’ way of life.
Main Ideas
 President Harding promised a return to peace and prosperity.
 Calvin Coolidge supported a probusiness agenda.
 American business boomed in the 1920s.
 In 1928, Americans elected Herbert Hoover, hoping he would
help good financial times continue.
Main Idea 1:
President Harding promised a
return to peace and prosperity.
 The end of World War I impacted the American
 Factories cut back on production.
 Millions of soldiers left military.
 Unemployment rose sharply.
 Prices soared
 Wages could not keep up with rising prices.
 Workers went on strike.
 Voters blamed Wilson’s Democratic Party for the
hard times.
Warren G. Harding (04:43)
1920 Presidential Election
 Republicans chose Warren G. Harding as their
 Harding chose Calvin Coolidge as his running
 Campaign strategy: promise to return country to
stability and prosperity. Return to Nomalcy.
 Harding won a landslide victory with 60 percent of
the popular vote.
 Immediately worked to strengthen the economy
 However, the presidency faced problems.
 Corruption of presidential appointees
 Teapot Dome scandal involved the first cabinet
member ever to be convicted of a crime for his
actions while in office.
President Harding and Return to Normalcy
 President Harding was out
of his depth in dealing with
most foreign affairs. But he
tried to be decisive. He
would not join the League of
Nations and ignored the
Versailles Treaty. Instead
the U.S. made a separate
peace with Germany- July 2,
 When the world was at war
no one could feel at peace.
Harding’s Scandal and Sudden
Harding compensated for his poor governing skills by hiring highly skilled
cabinet members.
 U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon reformed the tax system.
 Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes and Commerce Secretary
Herbert Hoover were also incredibly successful cabinet members.
Some cabinet members, however, were old friends from Ohio, called the
Ohio Gang, who were later convicted of taking bribes.
Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall was convicted and jailed for accepting
bribes to allow oil companies to drill federal reserves on government land
called the Teapot Dome in Wyoming.
Harding, distressed by rumors, took a trip to Alaska, and collapsed after
giving over 85 speeches in Alaska and died not too long after.
Harding’s popularity was high when he died, but his own failings and
the corruption of his administration soured his reputation over time.
The Washington Naval Conference
Public Pressure
• Peacetime brought pressure
to reduce the size of U.S.
armed forces to save money
and reduce war threats.
• But people feared world
naval powers, including
Great Britain and Japan,
were in an arms race, when
competing nations build
more and more weapons to
avoid one nation gaining a
clear advantage.
• Hoping to stop an arms race,
the U.S. organized the
Washington Naval
Conference, inviting all
major naval powers.
The Conference
• Countries cut back the
size of their navies and
scrapped existing ships
and some under
• The conference also led
to an agreement on
several issues
threatening world peace,
including plans to avoid
competition among the
world’s military powers
for control of China.
• Many Americans thought
the conference was a
success, including
Secretary of State Charles
Evans Hughes.
Though the conference was somewhat successful, it was not
long before world tension rose again and more ships were built
for war.
Return to Peace and Prosperity
 Explain – What caused unemployment
at the end of World War I?
 Identify Cause and Effect - Why did
Mellon believe tax cuts for the wealthy
would benefit all Americans?
 Recall – Why did Harding’s friends
keep him “walking the floor nights”?
Main Idea 2:
Calvin Coolidge supported a
pro-business agenda.
 Calvin Coolidge became president in August 1923
after Harding died of a heart attack.
 Fired all of the officials involved in corruption scandals
during Harding’s administration.
 Gained popularity for his work
 Coolidge elected president in 1924 election.
 Moved forward on a pro-business agenda
 Lowered taxes for wealthy
 Raised tariffs on foreign goods to decrease domestic
 Vetoed Congressional attempts to provide aid to farmers
through price regulation
Calvin Coolidge (04:38)
Calvin Coolidge
• Vice President Calvin Coolidge took the office of president in the early
hours following Harding’s death.
Coolidge in Office
• Raised in a modest
rural Vermont
home; his father
ran a store and
liked politics.
• As president, he
got rid of
suspected of
under Harding.
• Graduated from
college in
and took up law
and politics in the
Republican Party
• Elected governor
of Massachusetts
and gained fame
for stopping the
Boston Police
• Thought
business helped
society, and
should be
• Lowered taxes,
reduced federal
spending, would
not help farmers
or war veterans
Coolidge the Man
• Serious and
, known as
“Silent Cal”
• He liked playing
practical jokes
on White House
staff but hated
small talk.
• He was popular
at the time but
did not run for
re-election in
Returning to Prosperity
 Europeans wanted to avoid another devastating
 In 1928, the United States and 14 other countries
signed the Kellog-Briand Pact.
 Agreement that outlawed war
 Eventually signed by 62 nations
 Some complained that the pact was
 Others saw the pact as a sign that most countries
wanted to prevent another global conflict.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact
• Though the U.S. refused to join the League of Nations, a strong interest in
preventing war remained.
• The French proposed a treaty with the U.S. outlawing war between two
nations, but the U.S. responded with a bigger idea.
• Secretary of State Frank Kellogg proposed an agreement that would involve
many countries.
• The Kellogg-Briand Pact resulted, stating that all countries who signed it
renounced war as a solution for international controversies.
• The pact presented a high ideal for a war-torn world, and more than 60 nations
signed on.
• Yet the pact had no system for enforcement, only the nations’ promises, and
soon after, the world would realize that it was not enough to stop war from
happening again.
Coolidge’s Pro-business Administration
 Recall – Under what circumstances
did Vice President Coolidge become
 Draw Conclusions – What was the
result of Coolidge’s firing of all
officials who had been involved in the
bribery scandals?
 Evaluate – What is your opinion of the
Kellogg-Briand Pact?
Main Idea 3:
American business boomed in the
 Between 1921 and 1929, U.S.
manufacturing doubled.
 As jobs and wages increased, so did
people’s ability to buy new products.
 New products changed the way
Americans lived.
Ford Revolutionizes
• The first cars appeared in the U.S. in the 1800s, but only the rich
could buy them, until Henry Ford began selling the Model T in 1908.
• Ford’s vision combined three main ideas.
1. Make cars simple
and identical
instead of doing
highly expensive
2. Make the process
smooth, using
parts and
moving belts.
3. Determine how
workers should
move, and at
what speed, to
be the most
• These ideas formed the first large-scale moving assembly line, a
production system in which the item being built moves along a
conveyor belt to workstations that usually require simple skills.
• By the 1920s Ford made a car every minute, dropping prices so
that by 1929 there were about 22 million cars in America.
• Ford raised his workers’ wages so they could also buy cars, but
he opposed unions, and assembly lines were very boring.
Rise of the Automobile
 Henry Ford, allowed customers to buy cars
using an installment plan.
 Other automobile companies began to offer
installment plans.
 The automobile changed the way Americans
 Could take jobs farther away from where they
 Gave people a sense of freedom and adventure
Henry Ford: Changing the Way Americans Worked, Played, and Traveled (02:42)
Life in the Jazz Age Automobile
 As the end of the decade neared, Ford and
Chevrolet locked horns in a fierce pricing
battle that continued through the Thirties. Other
automakers, such as Cadillac, Packard, and
Chrysler, began to have an impact on the
 Virtually every household in America owned
an automobile, and it quickly became an
integrated part of American life. Parents would
drive to work in their automobiles. Families
could visit friends and family who lived farther
away. And young people found a whole new
way to have fun. Entertainment and recreation
as well as work.
 A wide variety of new industries were
spawned- petroleum, manufacturing, road
construction, etc.
The Magnificent Doble
 The Doble steamers of the 1920's
were almost miracles of precision,
workmanship, performance,
reliability and power. They simply
ran away from the best of the
competition -- Cadillac's, Lincoln's,
Packard's, Pierce-Arrows, Rolls
Royce, or what have you.
 As for durability and reliability the
Doble had no match. Doble did not
guarantee his steam engines for just
10,000 miles, or a year. He
guaranteed them for 100,000 miles!!
 Abner Doble, creator of the
magnificent Doble steam car, born in
1890, descended from an early
California family, Young Abner built
his first car when only 16 years of
Max Speed MPH 95 Max RPM 1300 Max Sustained Speed 75 0 to 75 14.68
sec Breaking Poor
$ 9750.00 in 1924
A DOBLE E19 was driven 186,000 miles over a 20 year period by Chas T. Briar
requiring only three sets of tires, two batteries and a patch on the nicrome firebox,
obtaining 10 to 14 miles per gallon on fuel oil.
Growing Industries
Factory employment rose as parts were needed for automobile
Government spent millions improving roads.
New business opportunities arose along roadways to serve
travelers, including gas stations, restaurants, and motels.
Electricity was more widely available, and companies began
creating electrical appliances to make household chores easier.
Advertising industry boomed as companies competed to sell
their goods.
• Henry Ford was one of several people in the 1900’s whose
inventions changed Americans’ lifestyles.
• The first practical dishwasher was invented by Josephine
Garis-Cochrane, a socialite concerned with protecting her
17th century tableware, which was becoming chipped at the
hands of her servants.
• When her husband died, she turned to manufacturing
them full time.
• The Columbian Exposition of 1893 used her new machines
in it enormous kitchens.
• Upon her death, the company was sold and in 1940 became
the Kitchen Aid division of the Whirlpool Corporation.
Industry Changes Society
Car Effects
Demand for steel,
rubber, glass, and
other car materials
Auto repair shops
and filling stations
sprang up.
Motels and
restaurants arose
to meet travelers’
Landowners who
found petroleum on
their property
became rich.
Cities and Suburbs
• Detroit,
Michigan, grew
when Ford based
his plants there,
and other
• Other midwestern
cities, like Akron,
Ohio, boomed by
making car
necessities like
rubber and tires.
• Suburbs, which
started thanks to
trolley lines, grew
with car travel.
• Freedom to
travel by car
produced a new
tourism industry.
• Before the auto
boom, Florida
attracted mostly
the wealthy, but
cars brought
tourists by the
• Buyers snatched
up land, causing
prices to rise.
• Some Florida
swamps were
drained to put up
The New Consumer
• During the 1920s, an explosion of new products, experiences, and
forms of communication stimulated the economy.
New Products
• New factories turned out
electrical appliances like
refrigerators and vacuum
cleaners, as more homes were
wired for electricity.
• The radio connected the world,
and by the late 1920s, 4 homes
in 10 had a radio, and families
gathered around it nightly.
• The first passenger airplanes
appeared in the 1920s, and
though they were more
uncomfortable than trains, the
thrill excited many Americans.
Creating Demand
• Advertisers became the
cheerleaders of the new
consumer economy.
• Persuasive advertising
gained a major role in the
• Advertisers paid for space in
publications, and companies
sponsored radio shows.
• Advertising money made
these shows available to the
public, and ads gave the
products wide exposure.
New Ways To Pay
 In the early 1900s, most Americans paid for items in full when they
bought them, perhaps borrowing money for very large, important,
or expensive items like houses, pianos, or sewing machines.
 Borrowing was not considered respectable until the 1920s, when
installment buying, or paying for an item over time in small
payments, became popular.
 They bought on credit, which is, in effect, borrowing money.
 Consumers quickly took to installment buying to purchase new
products on the market.
 By the end of the decade, 90 percent of durable goods, or longlasting goods like cars and appliances, were bought on credit.
Advertisers encouraged the use of credit, telling consumers
they could “get what they want now” and assuring them that with
small payments they would “barely miss the money.”
The Radio
Most radio historians assert that radio
broadcasting began in 1920 with the historic
broadcast of KDKA
Radio became a product of the mass market
Between 1923 and 1930, 60 percent of
American families purchased radios. Families
gathered around their radios for night-time
Radio stations broadcast things like popular
music, classical music, sporting events,
lectures, fictional stories, newscasts, weather
reports, market updates, and political
The Federal Radio Commission was set up in
1926; the Radio Act of 1927 organized the
Federal Radio Commission.
Crystal radios, like the one at left, were
among the first radios to be used and
The Phonograph
The phonograph or Victrola was
developed as a result of Thomas Edison's
work on two other inventions, the
telegraph and the telephone.
Uses of the Phonograph- according to
Letter writing
Phonographic books,
The teaching of elocution.
Reproduction of music.
The "Family Record"--a registry of sayings, reminiscences,
etc., by members of a family in their own voices, and of
the last words of dying persons.
Music-boxes and toys.
The preservation of languages
Educational purposes.
Connection with the telephone
Washing machines
In 1922 The Maytag Company introduced a system of
forcing water through the clothes by means of an
agitator rather than dragging the clothes through the
water. This system is most commonly used now.
Even as early as 1875 there had been more than 2,000
patents issued for various washing devices. Not every
idea worked, of course. One company built a machine
designed to wash only one item at a time.
What may have been the first "laundromat" was
opened in 1851 by a gold miner and a carpenter in
California. Their 12-shirt machine was powered by 10
Earliest washers were hand powered by means of a
wheel, pump handle or similar device. One, was
driven by twisted ropes which powered the washer by
"unwinding" somewhat like the use of a rubber band
to power model airplanes. One washer contained
rollers which were pushed back and forth by hand to
squeeze out dirt. Several featured "stomping" devices
and one - called a "Locamotive" was moved rapidly
back and forth on a track washing the clothes by
slamming them against the walls of the tub.
Business Booms
 Recall – Which manufacturer helped
make the automobile more affordable?
 Identify Cause and Effect – What
resulted from the increase of jobs and
wages in the 1920’s?
 Interpret – In what way did Ford cut
costs of production?
 Judge – Why do you think Ford
wanted his automobile to be more
Business Booms
 Explain – From a worker’s point of
view, what was good about working
for Ford?
 Compare – How did people buy
expensive items before Ford’s
installment plan?
 Make Generalizations – In what ways
did the growth of industries improve
the lives of Americans?
Main Idea 4:
In 1928, Americans elected
Herbert Hoover, hoping he would help good
financial times continue.
1928 Election
 Herbert Hoover was the Republican candidate.
 Public support was strong.
 Promised that he would maintain economic prosperity
 New York governor Alfred E. Smith was
Democratic candidate.
 Campaign focused on issues facing city-dwellers.
 Religious faith was also an issue; he was the first
Catholic to run for president.
 Hoover elected with 58 percent of the popular
Hoover’s Campaign Slogan
 One campaign slogan that is
still often quoted is a promise
made by candidate Herbert
Hoover in the 1928
presidential election. He
promised Americans “a
chicken in every pot and a car
in every garage.”
Hoover Elected
 Recall – What caused the public
to support the Republican Party?
 Identify– Who was Hoover’s
opponent in the election?
 Predict – Do you think Hoover
was correct in saying that
America would see “the final
triumph over poverty”?

Unit III – A Modern Nation