17 photos that prove just how cool the 1920s really were

We don’t really need to tell you that the 1920s were cool. The Roaring Twenties were characterized by prosperity and independence and people today are still fascinated by this decadent period in time. How could a decade that gave us flappers, fantastic fashion, the Jazz Age, women earning the right to vote, and a major technological boom be considered anything but cool? But just in case you still have doubt, check out these 17 photos that prove just how cool the 1920s really were. After that, be sure to take a look at the equally awesome 1930s.

Rebel with a garter flask, 1926

Rebel with a garter flask, 1926

NYC policeman, 1920

A New York City policeman hanging out, 1920

1920s fashion

A couple of fashionable women, 1920s

Two cyclists (Vervaeke and Geldhol) smoking during the 1920 Tour de France.

Two cyclists, Vervaeke and Geldhol, smoking during the 1920 Tour de France.

Miss Universe Ella Van Hueson, circa June 16, 1928.

Miss Universe Ella Van Hueson, circa June 16, 1928.

Charleston, 1920s

Dancing the Charleston on a railing in front of the US Capitol.

Group taking a selfie photo in 1920.

Group taking a selfie photo in 1920.

Mugshot, 1925

Even the mugshots were cool (1925).

Silent film star Evelyn Brent, 1924.

Silent film star Evelyn Brent, 1924.

Harry Houdini demonstrates photo manipulation by taking a "spirit photograph" with Abraham Lincoln, 1920s

Harry Houdini demonstrates photo manipulation by taking a “spirit photograph” with Abraham Lincoln, 1920s

Bulgarian photobomber, 1926

Bulgarian photobomber, 1926

Washington Cat Show at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington D.C., 1920s.

Washington Cat Show at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington D.C.

Cambridge Undergraduates c. 1926

Cambridge undergraduates, 1926

1920s amusement park

1920s amusement park

1924

Three young men in a vehicle, c. 1924

Bessie_Coleman_and_her_plane_1922

Aviator Bessie Coleman and her plane in 1922

Sharpshooter Annie Oakley, with a gun that Buffalo Bill gave her, 1922.

Sharpshooter Annie Oakley with a gun that Buffalo Bill gave her, 1922.

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27 replies
  1. Jasmine
    Jasmine says:

    What’s the deal with the smoking during the Tour de France? Was it a weird health belief thing or…?

    Reply
    • William
      William says:

      Nearly everyone smoked back then. It was as much a social thing then as Facebook is now. Even doctors recommended some brands of cigarettes over others because of ‘taste’ and ‘better filters’. Hardly any of the public had any idea how bad they are.

      Reply
      • LobsterCowboy
        LobsterCowboy says:

        There were even cigarettes prescribed by doctors for asthma. When I started as a pharmacy stock boy in 1961, they were still sold

        Reply
        • Blerb
          Blerb says:

          Try using correct punctuation. It’s ’30s. Not 30’s. It doesn’t belong to 30. The apostrophe stands in for the 19 part of 1930s. The s at the end needs no apostrophe because it’s plural.

          Reply
      • Susan
        Susan says:

        I was in college in 1960 and it was just beginning to become a topic of consideration. The tobacco companies were still holding their own on how cigarettes do not harm you. I grew up in the 50’s when smoking commercials were common. I asked my cousin to teach me to smoke and there were no restrictions or warnings from any quarter. It took many years for the tobacco industry with it’s millions to finally meet defeat.

        Reply
    • Rico
      Rico says:

      Also remember that smoking is a serious addiction. Once you have created nicotine receptors in your body by starting smoking, they put you in a headlock and continually demand attention.

      Reply
      • LobsterCowboy
        LobsterCowboy says:

        actually current studies, published in the British medical journal the Lancet, are starting to show it isn’t so much the nicotine, but other tobacco additives, E.G. flavorings, etc

        Reply
  2. Lilly Lou
    Lilly Lou says:

    Miss Universe looks like she’s having a ton of laughs. Bit different to the made up pageant dolls of today

    Reply
  3. Lady J
    Lady J says:

    Is it me or does the selfie one seems really odd? I mean who takes a picture of people taking a picture? Nowadays we see it because there are so many cameras around but who has 2 cameras in the same place in the 1920s? Just seems either faked (a newer picture) or set up (specifically for that picture)

    Reply
  4. tonya
    tonya says:

    What’s the deal with the smoking during the Tour de France? Was it a weird health belief thing or…?

    Reply
  5. mark
    mark says:

    Great snapshot into the past. Get it? Snapshot? Oh never mind! 🙂

    Mark
    Add it to the list of amazing places to visit when I sell everything and give in to my wanderlust.

    Mark

    Reply
  6. Adam
    Adam says:

    I’m having a hard time in not freaking out about that hanging cop. Not for me.

    Smoking, I believe King James put a tax on tobacco 400 years ago because he thought it unhealthy and wanted people to stop the new habit. Somewhere we all forgot that, and I even remember seeing ads with doctors advertizing cigarettes.

    Reply
  7. Zeb
    Zeb says:

    Oh the selfies! And those Cambridge uniforms are so comfy. No wonder they were able to focus on studies!

    Reply
  8. r sush
    r sush says:

    January 11 1964 it was finally suggested that smoking was detrimental to your health. Luther Terry the Surgeon General announced this on a Saturday as the tobacco lobbyist were so powerful as to not disrupt the stock market. Gov’t at work. Godspeed to all

    Reply

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