Early 20th Century Timeline

Early 20th Century Cultural Events Timeline


It is commonly believed that architects and designers are influenced by and reflect the culture of the period in which they work. To better understand the cultural influences on architects of the Art Deco period, this timeline offers a listing of events that may have inspired them:

1909 —-  The Ballet Russes is founded and introduces Paris to Russian folklore and a new aesthetic

1914 Ford Model T Assembly Line

1913 —- Presidency of Woodrow Wilson and lasts until 1921

1914 —- First automobile assembly line started by Henry Ford

1917 —- U.S. enters World War I

1919 —- 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote

1919 —- World War I ends


1919 Prohibition begins

1919 —- Joseph Sinel first uses the term ‘Industrial Design’

1919 —- Prohibition begins and lasts until 1933

1921 —- Presidency of Warren G. Harding through 1923

1922 —- First public radio station, KDKA, launched in Pittsburgh

1922 —- King Tut’s tomb discovered

1922 —- Chicago Tribune hosts an international design competition to design “the most
beautiful and distinctive office building in the world” for their new headquarters

josephine-baker-paul-colin-la-revue-negre1923 —- Harlem’s Cotton Club presents all-black entertainment to all-white audiences

1923 —- Presidency of Calvin Coolidge through 1929

1924 —- George Gershwin writes Rhapsody in Blue

1925 —- Josephine Baker firsts preforms in La Revue Négre

1925 —- Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris

1925 —- The first Goodyear blimp floats ads through the sky

1925 —- Scopes ”Monkey Trial”

1926 —- Robert Goddard fires the first liquid-fuel rocket

1927 —- The Jazz Singer First motion picture with sound, was released

A 1926 Charleston contest

1928 Charleston contest

1927 —- Lindbergh’s first nonstop solo transatlantic flight

1928 —- Maurice Ravel composes the orchestral piece, Bolero

1928 —- Charleston dance craze begins

1928 —- Walt Disney created the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie

1929 —- At age 14, Les Paul creates forerunner of the electric guitar

1929 —- Stock market crashes

1929 —- Presidency of Herbert Hoover through 1933

1930 —- Golden Age of radio begins


FDR New Deal Button

1931 —- “The Star-Spangled Banner” becomes the U.S. national anthem

1931 —- Exposition Coloniale Internationale in Paris

1932 —- Amelia Earhart first woman to complete a solo transatlantic flight

1932 —- Franklin D. Roosevelt elected; launches New Deal the next year

1933 —- Hitler becomes German chancellor

1933 —- Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago

1933 —- The original King Kong film is released, showcasing the Empire State Building

1934 —- Dust Bowl ravages Midwest

1934 —- MoMA in New York created the Machine Art exhibition

1935 —- Porgy and Bess debuts on Broadway

1936 —- BBC starts world’s first television service, three hours per day

Hindenburg crash

Hindenburg crash

1936 —- Hoover Dam completed

1936 —- LIFE magazine created the Photo-Essay which let Americans see the world through photographs for the first time

1937 —- Pablo Picasso paints Guernica, showing the horrors of war

1937 —- Hindenburg crashes, ending the age of dirigibles

1938 —- Orson Welles’ radio drama, War of the Worlds, causes national panic

1939 —- New York World’s Fair shows television to the public

1939 —- World War II begins; U.S. enters two years later

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