“Beep, Beep, Beep!” I open my eyes and realize that the day has begun. I start to get up and I turn on my iPod and listen to my favorite music to start the day. The sound is blaring in my ears while I am fixing my hair with my hot straightener. I continue to listen to my favorite song as I run downstairs for breakfast. I stick a bagel in the toaster and can feel the warmth on my face as I lean over it, waiting for the bagel to jump out. I grab everything I need for school and run out the door. I get to the car and turn my iPod back on and listen to it all the way to school. That’s how my morning is. Ever think how it was back in the 1920s? Well, they did not have music that they could listen to every morning and they couldn’t be awakened by that irritating sound everyone wants to ignore.
The electronics of the 1920s were not at all like the ones we have today. They had appliances like vacuum cleaners, washing machines, refrigerators, and limited radio access. Today there is
a larger variety and different quality of electronics than there was earlier. For example, our refrigerators are of a much higher quality, and we can keep things colder and fresher for a longer period of time. We can hold more products in our refrigerators, too. Our washing machines are more high tech. We have buttons that will start the machine for us, making them easier to use. Back then, they didn’t have a self-spinning machine. They had to scrub their own clothes and try to get all the dirt out of them to make them fresh-smelling.
The way electronics affect the way we entertain today has also changed greatly. While talking to Johnnie H. Goodrich, 84, of Joplin, he described what the electronics were like in his early years of life. Explaining what the kids did for entertaining in the 1920s, he said with a laugh, “Back then we didn’t have TV or anything like that. We only had a radio that was a big old console like that, with one of them big long batteries in it. When the battery went dead, it went dead, and you couldn’t recharge them so you ain’t going to get to listen to the radio for very long.”
Growing up having little entertainment, and not many electronics the average day of someone who lived in the 1920s wouldn’t be as easy as today. “They don’t know what tough times was,” declared Johnnie. He pointed out that they didn’t use a lot of the same electronics that we use today. When I asked him how they stored their food items, he said that sometimes they would make things called “hot houses.” Johnnie explained, “We used to build a pit about two or three feet deep and fill it with straw and stuff like that, and then you would build a hot house but you would take a whole bunch of old wooden windows with the rectangular panes in them and make a frame work… covering the pit. That way it would have glass and the sun would shine in there in the winter time, and we called that a hot house…” What Johnnie explained sounds a lot like today’s greenhouse.
Johnnie taught me how the electronics and storing food has changed from then to now. He taught me about how he lived. He taught me about the differences from when he was a kid, to when he was older. He taught me a lot. And now he has taught you.
Goodrich, Johnnie. Personal interview. 24 Nov. 2012.
“1920′s Appliances including Prices.” Electrical Goods and Appliances in the 1920s Prices Examples from The People History Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20selectrical.html>.