Photo Gallery: The Roaring 20s

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Many Americans spent the 1920s in a great mood. Investors flocked to a rising stock market. Companies launched brand-new, cutting-edge products, like radios and washing machines. Exuberant Americans kicked up their heels to jazz music, tried crazy stunts, and supported a black market in liquor after Prohibition. A popular expression of the time asked, “What will they think of next?”

Browse some photographs from “the age of permanent prosperity.”||

Grauman’s Chinese Theater radiates glamour at the premiere of a Hollywood movie in 1927. Silent movie stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were investors in the theater.

|California Historical Society/Chamber of Commerce;||

As people look on, a policeman measures the distance between a woman’s knee and her bathing suit.

|Library of Congress;||

Charles Lindbergh, a celebrity after his solo, non-stop transatlantic flight in May 1927, stands before his famous plane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

|Courtesy Lindbergh Foundation;||

John Reynolds, the daredevil known as the “human fly,” displays his talent on the flagpole of New York’s Times-Herald building.

|Library of Congress;||

Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest musicians of the Jazz Age, poses with his band, the Hot Five.

|Courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House and Archives at Queens College;||

Americans went car-crazy in the Twenties. Henry Ford poses with the first Ford model and the ten millionth automobile his factory produced.

|Library of Congress;||

Wing walking was one of the Twenties’ ultimate stunts. Eddie Herzog and Bennie Thrash perform over Fresno, California in 1923.

|Courtesy Fresno County Public Library Collection;||

Joe Kennedy, patriarch of the famous political family, relaxes in style. Kennedy famously made a fortune in the 1920s and cleverly cashed out before the Crash.

|Courtesy John F. Kennedy Memorial Library;||

Moviegoers in front of Warners’ Theater pose for a photo at the premier of “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore, in 1926.

|National Archives;||

A woman demonstrates her garter flask, developed in response to Prohibition.

|Library of Congress;||

Crowds pack the stands to watch Yankee slugger Babe Ruth play the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.

|SDN-068149, Chicago Daily News Negatives Collection, Chicago Historical Society;||

A mob of bathers enjoys the beach at Lake Michigan.

|National Archives

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