Friday, November 04, 2005

Ch. 16 Section 4 Dawn of Mass Culture

Ch. 16 Section 4 Dawn of Mass Culture

Section 4 Overview
To give examples of turn-of-century popular sports and other leisure activities.
To describe turn-of-the-century trends in music and the performing arts.
To summarize the growing circulation of newspapers.
To describe turn-of-the-century innovations in marketing and advertising.

Focus & Motivate
Starting With the Student
What are some favorite leisure activities?
How do some or all of these activities affect American life in general?

Objective 1 Instruct
American Leisure
Playgrounds, playing fields, and amusement parks help provide vital outdoor activity to city dwellers.
Bicycle riding and tennis become popular crazes that help liberate females from corsets and less tangible confinements.
Sports like boxing and the evolving game of baseball draws crowds of spectators.

More About . . . .
Coney Island
Offering a fine Atlantic beachfront, Coney Island (from the Dutch for “Rabbit Island”) first became a resort in the 1820s but suffered from crime and corruption a few decades later. The turn-of-the-century advent of amusement parks—not only Luna Park but Steeplechase Park and Dreamland—helped revitalize the area as the “world’s largest playground” or “empire of the nickel” for immigrants and other working-class New Yorkers.

More About. . . .
Albert Bigelow Paine
Best-known for editing Mark Twain’s letters and writing his authorized biography, Pain also penned works of his own, including the play The Great White Way (1901), a title that became a nickname for New York City’s theater district.

Now & Then
Skates to Blades
Critical Thinking:
Image yourself as a comparative shopper deciding between “quad” and in-line skates. What qualities should be considered?
Factors to consider are stability, speed, price, appearance, maneuverability, ease of learning, and stylishness.

More About . . .
Turn-of-the-Century Health Foods
Several well-known foods were originally sold for dubious health purposes. John Harvey Kellogg spent years trying to create the cereal that eventually became corn flakes. In addition, Quaker Oats and Fleischmann’s Yeast both claimed to curb nervousness and constipation.

More About . . .
Like horse racing, boxing was enormously popular among 18th-century English gentleman. Then fought without gloves, it was extremely brutal until boxer Jack Broughton introduced a set of rules in 1743. In the 1860s the Marquis of Queensberry sponsored new rules that, among other things, required boxers to wear gloves. Though American boxing star John L. Sullivan was a bare-knuckle champion, he began fighting under the Marquis of Queensberry rules when he found that many U.S. towns and cities would legalize boxing only if gloves were worn.

Objective 2 Instruct
Going to the Show
Discussing Key Ideas
In their leisure hours, many turn-of-the-century Americans watch circuses, vaudeville shows, melodramas and other plays, as well as famous acting and singing stars on tour.
Minstrel shows give way to musicals and vaudeville, and ragtime—which blended African-American and European music and paved the way for jazz—becomes popular.
Soon after the turn of the century, movies emerge as popular entertainment, and by 1914 the American public idolizes its first generation of movie stars.

More About . . .
Hamlin Garland
Garland was a turn-of-the-century writer strongly influenced by the local-color movement—an offshoot of realism that stressed the accurate portrayal of a particular region or people. Garland’s region was the American Midwest—or “Middle Border,” as he often called it. Drawn from his personal experience, his short stories, in anthologies such as Main-Travelled Roads (1891) and Prairie Folks (1893), focused on the hardships of Midwestern farm life.

More About . . .
Scott Joplin
Knows as the “king of ragtime,” Joplin studies piano as a child in Texas and then traveled the Midwest performing, including a stint at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. After receiving further musical training at Missouri’s George R. Smith College for Negroes, he began creating his own compositions, winning fame for class piano “rags” like “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer.” He spent his final years in New York City, working mainly on a a three-act opera called Treemonisha.

Now & Then . . .
Going to the Movies
Starting With the Student
How important are movies to your leisure activities.
What else would you do if there were no such thing as television or movies?
Discussing Key Ideas
By 1903 the first modern films emerge, and theater owners realize that movies are more profitable than vaudeville.
Sound is added to films in 1927 and majestic movies palaces are built.
The popularity of television in the 1950s causes a decline in movie attendance by 1960, but theater owners combat this with outdoor drive-in movies.
Although the number of movie screens in the Unites States increases in the 1990s, movie attendance remains flat due to cable TV, satellite dishes, and videos.

Objective 3 Instruct
Mass Circulation Newspapers
Discussing Key Ideas
Turn-of-the-century newspapers are widely read by an increasingly literate public.
Publishing moguls Joseph Pulitzer’s and William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers grow more and more sensational.

More About. . .
William Randolph Hearst
After acquiring the Morning Journal, Hearst raided Pulitzer’s World for some of its best employees, including Richard F. Outcault, the inventor of color comics. The son of a U.S. Senator, Hearst extended his sensationalism into politics—the frenzy against Spain whipped up in his newspapers is often cited as a cause of the Spanish-American War.

Objective 4 Instruct
New Ways to Sell Goods
Discussing Key Ideas
The growth of new cities prompts new sales venues such as urban arcades, department stores, and chain stores.
Advertising and brand names become vital parts of the popular culture.
Mail-order catalogs blossom as rural free delivery allows packages to be sent to all parts of America.

Economic Background
Brand Names
Critical Thinking:
What importance do you place on brand names? What brand name products do you find reliable? For what kinds of products do you find the different brands indistinguishable?

More About. . .
Marshall Field’s
Marshall Field’s became the world’s biggest department store, serving as many as 250,000 customers a day by 1900. Helping Field in his efforts was Harry Selfridge, a Wisconsin native who began working at Field’s as a stock boy in 1879. Selfridge’s innovations included gift certificates, annual sales, the bargain basement, and the practice of reminding customers how many days were left for Christmas shopping.

More About. . .
F.W. Woolworth
Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first “five-and-ten” (or “five-and-dime”) variety stores in Utica, New York, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1879. The Utica store failed, but the Lancaster store was so successful that he opened 21 like it in the next decade. In 1909, he successfully expanded into Great Britain and Ireland.

Now & Then
Catalogs Today
Critical Thinking:
Analyzing Causes
Why is catalog shopping so popular?
More women are juggling work and family and have less time to shop in stores; more people living in rural areas shop in this manner because they are too far from cities and stores; crime has dissuaded some shoppers from visiting department stores and malls; catalog retailers have grown more sophisticated in offering the right goods to the right customers.

From movies to shopping to advertising, the turn-of-the-century saw the birth of the American mass culture that has dominated 20th century life.

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