Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Postwar Years (The Lost Generation #AtoZChallenge)

The picture acts as a drop cap for the text. Purple letter P with a laurel wreath, representing the A to Z Challenge blogging event. Text below the logo says 'Blogging from A to Z April Challenge' and 'a-to-zchallenge.com'

The Lost Generation lived their prime in the interwar years – especially the 1920s – a time that can be considered ‘in-between’. They were, in fact, a perfect incarnation of it. 

The 1920s were not just a time ‘in between’ the two World Wars, it was a time ‘in between’ two very different centuries. A kind of limbo, where these two worlds converged, to then inevitably diverge. But in that almost ‘magical’ time of change and movement, everything seemed possible, and the Lost Generation was at the forefront of this transformative era. 

The 1920s were a time when the lifestyle and beliefs of the 1800s lingered, touching and still impacting people’s lives, but at the same time, the germs of the 1900s lifestyle and beliefs already existed and moved their first timid steps. They coexisted in ways that were sometimes awkward and, at other times, extremely fertile. In the 1930s already, this was not the case anymore. 

Released from the terrible experience of WWI but also engulfed in incredible advancement in technology, medicine, science and even social behaviours, 1920s people – and the Lost Generation in particular – found themselves in a time where so much seemed possible. In fact, a lot of advancements, discoveries and inventions we may think came a lot later had their roots in the 1920s. The reason why we perceive them as ‘later’ is because, in so many instances, they did come to fruition after WWII.
In the 1930s, that excitement had disappeared in the shadow of another terrible war looming on the horizon. But in the 1920s, the feeling that so much was possible existed. This is why they roared—despite everything. 

Invention

Pinterest pin. The title reads, "The Lost Generation—Postwar Years." The black-and-white picture shows a vehicle with only one big wheel. A post-WWI invention.

Inventions were part of that sense of possibility that was peculiar to the 1920s. Inventions of every kind were made in many fields, some of which were objectively bizarre. But some others were ahead of their time. 

Here are some examples:

Film colour: Sound made its appearance in films in 1927. Colours in films appeared years earlier! Since the very last years of the 1800s, movies were filmed in black-and-white and then tinted or even hand-painted afterwards. The result was often surreal, almost dreamlike. Very different from what we consider colour film today. And it was a very laborious, costly process. When film lost their nature of curiosity and became more focused on stories, the colouring process was gradually abandoned.

Television: The first experiments with the technology that would eventually become television go back to the mid-1920s. But it remains very experimental and more of a science study than something actually useable for many years. Only after WWII it started to became what we are now familiar with. 

Wearable music radio: In 1922, a young inventor created a radio apparatus that could be hidden inside his hat and allowed him to listen to it through headphones. He didn’t certainly wait for the 1980s!

The end or the beginning of the world?

With all of this happening, it’s no surprise that, on the one hand, people thought the end of the world must be near and, on the other, that something incredible might be about to happen. 

People reacted to that test in many different ways and found answers in many different places. 

Postwar Years (The Lost Generation #AtoZChallenge) – The Lost Generation lived their prime in the interwar years – especially the 1920s – a time that can be considered 'in-between'. #1920s #inventions Share on X

RESOURCES

IperAllergic – Faster than Sound: Color in the Age of Silent Film
BBC – The Birth of TV: Early experiments: 1924-1929
Paleofuture – Wearable Tech In 1922 Was a Radio Inside Your Top Hat


Horizontal banner for the book "The Great War". On the left-hand side is the photo of a group of soldiers standing in a WWI trench. A Yellow button reads, "Go to Shop". On the right-hand side is a picture of a stake of two books, of which only the spine is visible, and the cover of a book standing upright, with the same group of soldiers standing in the trench. The stake of books stands against an olive green background. A big title in yellow reads "The Great War", and a smaller text reads "The updated ebook".

3 Comments

Leave a comment

Captcha loading...

0