Friday, July 1, 2016

Tidbits of Life in the 1920s from Tamera Kraft

It's with real pleasure that I'm introducing talented and award winning author, Tamera Lynn Kraft. She offers us today some tidbits about . . .

Life in the 1920s
By Tamera Lynn Kraft

My novella, Resurrection of Hope, is set in the couple of years immediately following World War I, 1919-1920. This was a time of transition in America and didn’t fit into the time periods we normally think of. It wasn’t yet the flapper era although flappers had come on the scene, but the early 1900s era of the Gibson Girls and Dough Boys was a thing of the past. Here are some facts about normal life in 1920.

Modern Conveniences:
Although modern conveniences like electric lights, indoor plumbing, and running water were available in 1920, for the most part, only those living in the city took advantage of them. Although during the roaring 20’s, people moved from rural farms to suburbs and cities, in the beginning of the decade, half of the population still lived out in the country on farms.

Most people in the city had electricity, telephones, streetlights, sewage systems, and running water. Throughout the decade, housewives were replacing their iceboxes for refrigerators and some even had washing machines, vacuum sweepers, sewing machines, electric mixers, toaster, and electric fans.


In 1920, the Model T automobile manufactured by Ford Motor Company made cars affordable for the average family. The days of the horse and buggy were becoming a thing of the past although you would occasionally see one in rural areas. Public roadways were improved and paved to keep up with the times. Because of the automobiles, the mobility of America changed. One of the major changes was the creation of the suburbs. People could work in the city without actually living there

Leisure Activities:
Movie theaters, radio, roller rinks, bowling, and watching race car driving and baseball games became fun activities every middle-class family could participate in. The invention of radio also made it so the average family could listen to music or radio shows from their own living room. Dance clubs opened where couples could dance the new dances to jazz songs although the more conservative families considered them immoral. There was also a dark side of entertainment with the speakeasies where illegal drinking and gambling went on, but most people in the 1920s didn’t participate in that.

Family Life:
Most families were traditional with the father who was the bread-winner and the mother who stayed at home and took care of the family. Teenagers were non-existent. You were a child until you became an adult. Younger teens spent time playing as children. Older teens were expected to act like adults. Public schools were everywhere, and most students graduated from high school for the first time in history although few went to college. Dating was usually chaperoned, abstinence was expected, and young adults would normally marry by the time they were twenty-one.

The flapper era was starting to show up in the cities in 1920. Most women were conservative and wore their skirts below their knees which was scandalous five years earlier. The shift or chemise dress with the lowered waistline became popular in 1916 and continued throughout the 1920s. Most dresses were sleeveless, and women wore sweaters over them on cold days.

Many women were starting to cut their hair even in the rural areas. Older women and some farm wives still wore long skirts and kept their hair long and pinned up in a bun. Cloche hats that fit tight around the face were becoming popular and went with the new short hair styles. Make-up lines such as Max Factor started opening, and women in the city wore make-up to look like the actresses on the silent movie screen.

The biggest change was ladies’ undergarments. Although the corsets didn’t disappear completely, one piece camisoles and slips became the desired undergarments. Because of shorter hemlines, silk hosiery was invented in 1920. It became the fashion for years after that. Bras didn’t come out until 1922, so most women either wore modified corsets or only wore a camisole.

About Tamera: 
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print.

She’s been married for 37 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog:

Resurrection of Hope
By Tamera Lynn Kraft

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancĂ© dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancĂ©’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions. 

Resurrection of Hope is not available until July 11th but will be available in the following stores:
· Desert Breeze Publishing
· Amazon
· Barnes & Noble
· Sony
· Kobo
· iTunes
· All Romance eBooks
· (Australia)

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas.

She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Personal blog:

Check out her books here


  1. Those old family photos creep me out...the people look too perfect and the facial expressions can be eerie.
    Resurrection of Hope sounds like a good read.

    1. They really did take creepy family pictures back then. I hope you enjoy Resurrection of Hope.

  2. The sewing machine looks familiar. I do love some of the fashions.

    1. I love the fashions of that era too. My grandmother had a sewing machine that looked very much like that one.

  3. Interesting post! My favorite era is WWII, so I don't know a lot about the 20s. We've got a treadle sewing machine that looks like the one you've posted. Wonder if it's from the 20s. Your book sounds great - another to add to the TBR pile!

    1. The sewing machine probably is from that era. I hope you enjoy Resurrection of Hope.

  4. Resurrection of Hope sounds intriguing. Older pictures are not what we consider great pictures, but I enjoy seeing them. The sewing machine looks like the one my grandmother had. I enjoyed the history today and Resurrection of Hope going on my TBR list.

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. I hope you enjoy it. My grandmother had a sewing machine like that too.

  5. An interesting walk through history, especially the timeline of events.

  6. I really enjoyed these tidbits! My mother-in-law, who was born in 1900, had a treadle Singer sewing machine she'd had since the 1920s. She could really make that thing hum. I tried it a few times but gave up. Never could get the rhythm.

    1. Thanks, Patricia. My grandmother had one too. My mom had a more modern version, but she used to sew all my clothes. She could really make hers hum.

  7. Carole, thanks for the opportunity to be on Stitches Thru Time. I enjoyed it.

  8. I enjoyed this post and seeing the photos; especially the sewing machine that looks like the one my grandmother used. She made countless numbers of clothes using her pedal machine and I was one of the lucky recipients!

  9. Thanks for all the comments!