Publishers Bindings through
Lyrics from Cotton Land
The decade of 1920-1930 marks the end of the publishers' binding era. With the widespread use of dust jackets in the 1930s, book production changed dramatically. Hard cover books in the 1930s looked very much the same as books published in America today.
Two important Constitutional amendments
went into effect in 1920. The 19th
culmination of decades of lobbying by the nation's
women for the right
to vote. The 18th
amendment prohibited liquor, touching off a decade known
for its speakeasies, flappers, gangsters,
Americans danced the Charleston in
all-night marathons, called men "cats" and
women "dolls," and
became caught up in crazy fads such as flagpole-sitting.
A number of firsts occurred in
this decade. Albert
Einstein first lectured in America
on the theory of relativity (formulated in 1905).
The Scopes "monkey
trial" (1925) sparked nationwide debate
over the theory
of evolution. KDKA in
Pittsburgh initiated the first regular radio broadcasts.
made the first flight over the North Pole and conducted
expeditions in Antarctica. Charles
the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
Gorman was crowned the first Miss
nation met its first sports celebrity, Babe
starring Broadway great Al
Jolson, kicked off the
spelled the beginning of the end for silent movies.
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized
the importance of film in American life when it
gave its first
awards–later to be known as the "Oscars."
His Soul Goes Marching On
(C. Scribner's Sons, 1927)
Scott Fitzgerald captured
the spirit of the "Roaring Twenties" through
books such as This
Side of Paradise, The
Great Gatsby, Flappers
and Philosophers, and The
Beautiful and the Damned. Other important
books of the decade included T. S. Elliot's Waste
Sun Also Rises, Theodore
American Tragedy, and
William Faulkner's The
Sound and the Fury.
e. cummings began publishing poetry. The first
major movement of black artists, known as
notable writers such as Langston
Hughes and Zora
Neale Hurston. Several important
magazines–including Time, The
New Yorker, and
the 1920s as well.
Perhaps the most important event
of the decade occurred near its end. The stock
market crash on October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)
marked the beginning of the Great Depression.
all books from 1920-1930 in PBO database
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Allen, Sue. Decorated Cloth
in America: Publisher’s Bindings, 1840-1910. Los
Angeles: UCLA, Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies,
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1994.
American Cultural History,
Kingwood College, http://kclibrary.nhmccd.edu/decade20.html.
American Studies: Literature
On-line Textbook, http://www.auroraweb.com/america/timeline_files/1920.htm.
Diehl, Edith. Bookbinding:
Its Background and Technique. New York: Dover, 1980.
ed. Bookbinding in America. Portland, ME: Southworth-Anthoensen,
May, Ernst R., and the editors
of Life. War, Boom, and Bust : 1917-1932 ,
vol. 10 in The Life History of the United States.
New York: Time Inc., 1963.