Prosperity of Urban Families in the 1920's

 
    During the 1920's, America's economy soared to new hights.  New inventions and inventions that were once unaffordable could now be enjoyed by the typical American family, such as automobiles, dryers, phones, etc.  These times of luxuries also brought with it the prohibition of alcohol, the introduction of flappers, and other such events that led to many rebellious acts.  The following are everyday family accounts of such activities.
 
 
Holly Smith
    Pete Schimidt Jr. was the son of poor German immigrants.  He was determined to rise above that stereotype and decided to make a name for himself.  He became the biggest moonshine maker and dealer in Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio.
Cathrine Dounders
    They did enjoy the 1920's prosperity due to a lot of travel during this era.  They did not have an automobile but used buses and cable cars.  Enjoyed baseball and basketball.  Gaining the right to vote was not important to women because men still controlled political issues.

Kristen Eaton
    My great great grandma didn't believe in using electric.  She always used oil.  She received city water and plumbing at about 1915.  Family had a car and would take trips to the country every other weekend to pick apples and go swimming.

Kevin Morath
    During WWI I did not have any relatives in combat.  After the war though, the 1920's were prosperous for my family because it was an expanding time where they were modernized.  During this time they got the benefit of electricity, plumbing, telephone, radio, and many more things.  A big item that was acquired at this time was the family automobile.  At this point in time their lives were changing for the better.

Jessica Steckmeister
    My Family lived comfortably during the 1920's.  They had light, new appliances, plumbing, telephone, and radio.  They however didn't have an automobile until much later.  The housewives of my family spent most all of their time housekeeping even though there was many improvements.  My family has always had high standards in every aspect of life.  The young members of the family were a little more rebellious but that was taken care of very quickly with the back of a hand.  The women of the family were well educated and they took careers up for themselves.  Behaving like a flapper wasn't tolerated in my family.  The birth rate started to decline during this time period.  The children were never treated as "pals".

 Sean Green
    The first automobile had little effect on their lives, for they had never owned or driven one.  However, my grandma remembers a cousin who purchased a model T for $600.  He would visit sometimes on Sundays and take my great-grandparents out for a drive in their Sunday's best.
    Movies were more a part of my great-grandma's life before her marriage.  She saw Charlie Chan in Newport for $0.50.  Movies were very inexpensive and a popular means of entertainment.
    Prohibition had little effect on anyone.  A great-great-uncle of mine owned a café' where my great-grandparents would buy a $0.50 bucket of beer to enjoy on the weekend.
    Gangsters in this area were not memorable for my great grandma but flappers were.  She first saw them while shopping in Covington.  Kate Kaiser was a local flapper girl whose large church wedding my great grandma attended.  After the ceremony she discovered that Katie was pregnant.  The baby was born two weeks later.

Sean Flaherety
    The first automobiles had little effect on their lives, for they had never owned or driven one.  However, my grandma remembers a cousin who purchased a Model T for $600.  He would visit sometimes on Sunday and take my great-grandparents for a drive in their Sunday best.
    Movies were more a part of my great-grandma's life before her marriage.  She saw Charlie Chan in Newport for $.50.  Movies were very inexpensive and popular means of entertainment.
    Prohibition had little effect on anyone because "every place and a drive where you could get liquor."  A great-great-great uncle of mine owned a café where my great-grandparents would buy a $.05 bucket of beer to enjoy on the weekend evenings.
    Gangsters in this area weren't memorable for my great-grandma but flappers were.  She first saw them while shopping in Covington.  Kate Kaiser was a local flapper girl whose large church wedding my great-grandma attended.  After the ceremony, she discovered that Katie was very pregnant.  The baby was born two weeks later.
    My grandmother's family had a shocking encounter with the Ku Klux Klan after moving in 1927 to Belmont Avenue in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.  They had an unfriendly neighbor who had no children and was intolerant of any neighborhood children.  My great-uncle Jack was playing in front of their house one day and they threatened to shoot him.

Leslie Smarr
    During the 1920's, the Smarr family purchased their first electrical refrigerator as wall as an electrical toaster, a washer, and a coal tucker furnace (crushed coal on it's own).  My family could now enjoy electrical lighting, radio, and, in 1934, the first family automobile.  These new luxuries allowed the women to spend less time with housekeeping.
    During the time of prohibition, the Smarr family was not involved with any illegal making of alcohol but they did illegally purchase alcohol.  My family has a very small incidence of divorce in its past, but one occasion was when Sarah Coppin divorced John Roberts Smarr after WWII.

Maryann Huhn
    Both my grandfather and grandmother's (Huhn and Montag) families experienced economic stability in the 20's.  They were able to spend more money on frivolous items, on more food, and clothing.  When new technologies arrived my grandmother said her family was hesitant to purchase them, but modernization, they would realize, made life easier.  With these mew conveniences less time was needed to cook and clean.  Therefore, more time on personal grooming and hygiene occurred.
    Both of my great grand fathers were heavy drinkers even through prohibition.  My grandparents were not born until after this time.

Julie Estes
    During this age, the Estes family did not talk about sex and did not believe in birth control.  As a result, my grandparents had eleven children.  Due to the new inventions that became affordable in the 1920's, my grandparents spent less time cleaning and cooking and more time raising their 11 kids.
    My family did not get caught up in fascination of pro sports, movie stars, and dancing.  However, they did start doing more and more sight seeing when they purchased their first automobile.  The women in my family enjoyed their new right to vote they liked the fact that they could give input to American issues.
    My grandparents heard stories of people trying to get alcohol and getting poisoned and how corks popped off and made a huge mess.  So during prohibition, my family decided to make their own home brew and bathtub gin.
 
Melissa Riehle
    For the Riehle family, the time period was not favorable, especially after the “roaring twenties.”  However, everyone had to deal with them if they wanted to survive.  Here is how my family did that.

Hansen-Reed
    Anton Hansen, pre-derision, found himself doing well as a self-employed insurance agent in Chicago.  He had taken classes in the English language and penmanship to improve his dealings with his customers.  He wasn’t having any problems making money, just managing it.  Like some of his associates, Anton dwindled in the stock market, but mainly lived on the highs and lows of his insurance business.  For Anton, things were going fairly well.

Mike Smith
    During the 1920’s the Smith family prospered.  Many Americans had more money and opportunities to use it than at any time in the past.  George III led a huge marching band, an enormous shrine band, as well as a full orchestra during the 1920’s.
 Even though people had little money in the thirties, they still came to dances and other events that my great grandfather and grandmother worked.  My great grandfather fell victim to a full heart attack just like every male member of the Smiths did before him in 1930.  My grandfather George Gilmore Smith IV was very lucky because he saved during the twenties and the bank he saved at did not fold during the Great Depression.  He was able to buy his first and only house without a mortgage, and the house still remains in the family today.

Courtney Pflum
    The females in my family were to stay at home and cook for the males.  So no they did not spent less time at home as a result of improvements such as lighting, plumbing, and new appliances.  Most women of my family only made it through high school.  The average age of marriage within my family was between the ages of 15&17.  Once married, they stayed married; there was never a divorce.
 
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