Tag Archives: Roaring 20’s

1920 Flappers Took the Country by Storm – But Did They Ever Truly Go Away

Women of the Roaring Twenties had a lot in common with today’s millennials.

By Linda Simon

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe
September 2017

She was the sexy ingénue, spending evenings in jazz clubs hazy with her cigarette smoke. She cavorted, wild and willful, in the stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who summed her up as “pretty, impudent, superbly assured, as worldly-wise, briefly-clad and ‘hard-berled’ as possible.”

Daredevils on a skyscraper

Unlike their mothers and grandmothers, flappers tended to go to high school and even college, and they devoured new books featuring confident, fun-loving adolescent heroines who hiked and camped and solved mysteries. Flappers biked, played golf and tennis, and strove to emulate the flat-chested and hipless physiques of the adolescent boys whose freedom and lack of domestic responsibilities they envied.

Predictably, these stylish tomboys were a grave source of worry to parents, educators, physicians and clergymen, who feared that sports and higher education would be ruinous. “Without womanly ­ideals the female character is threatened with disintegration,” warned G. Stanley Hall, a leading psychologist and educator who toured the country lecturing on the subject.

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Prohibition Cars 1928

Prohibition Cars.

The Metropolitan Police of St. Louis drove 1928 Packards with shiny bells on the front.

1928 Packard

The Chicago Police, on the other hand, drove Fords and some green 1928 Cadillacs with black fenders.  Behind the front grill, the Caddies were equipped with flashing red lights and a siren.

1928 Cadillac

So, you may ask, what did Al Capone drive?

Al Capone also had a green 1928 Caddy with black fenders, a siren, flashing red lights, and a police band receiver.  It was the twin of the police issue.  In addition, it had 3,000 pounds of lead and one inch bulletproof glass all around.  Capone’s 1928 Cadillac was so well fortified that for his own protection President Roosevelt used it after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

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