Changes In Canadian Society In Roaring Twenties

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Did you know that 15 million Ford cars were sold by the end of 1927? The Roaring Twenties was a time where consumerism changed Canadian society in a positive way. One way was the introduction of new products that supported daily living. In addition, mass production and the resulting products became purchasable off credit which contributed to positive changes in Canadian society.

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In the time of the Roaring Twenties many new products were produced such as cars, telephones, and radios. They were all created within this time and all of these inventions are still relevant to this day. For example, the car company Ford was originally created by Henry Ford and became and stayed a well known car company. The car is arguably one of the best inventions because it allowed people who lived far away from their work to be able to travel faster, farther. Many people were also able to look for jobs that they were not able to get before because of how far it was from their home.The cars were also recognized as a symbol of class because only a few people could afford the newer models. The average price of a car back then was approximately $850. The radio was also invented in the 1920’s. It was used by many people and at that time it was commonly known as a twiddler. The radio created competition for news producers who were trying to get their news out to the general public. The main purpose of the radio was to get rid of the isolation of information for Canadians and it did exactly that. Information was received at a national scale and the radio coverage increased to a whopping 76 percent from 49. Alongside the car and radio, the 1920’s also brought along the telephone.

Before, without the telephone, people had to go and talk to other people face to face or send mail. This was especially difficult for people who had family members overseas and could not talk to them directly. However with the invention of the telephone it gave people the opportunity to talk to family members as far as Britain. The telephone became a common household item that over one million homeowners had. The telephone made communication easier for people and now the need to go to someone’s home to talk to them has vanished. These new products helped the Canadian society and still do in a major way.

Having all of these new products were amazing for the society of Canada, however there were a high demand for many of these products and there was no efficient way to produce them. Henry Ford had came up with a brilliant idea, an assembly line. He came up with the idea by viewing the assembly line at a slaughterhouses and the use of conveyor belts at grain factories. The early versions of the assembly line was by using gravitational slides that moved pieces down to other workers. In 1913 the very first assembly line was created for mass production. The purpose of the assembly line was to decrease to production time of a product while keeping the income the same. The impact of the assembly line was massive, especially for mass production of cars and being able to use interchangeable parts made the workflow continuous. Before the assembly line the average production time of a car would take twelve hours, with the assembly line it would roughly take ninety three minutes. The assembly line did not only affect the rate of work, but it also helped the workers as well by taking a massive workload of their shoulders. Hours were cut from nine hours to eight and all the workers got paid five dollars instead of two because the production rate increased. The assembly line today is mostly used for food, toys, and furniture. It still impacts Canadian lives positively and thus is makes it one of the reasons consumerism changed Canadian society in a great way.

The inventions and the mass production of all these items in the twenties were an amazing thing but many people were unable to afford them because of the lack of jobs and the payment rate. However because of all these people wanting all the new technologies, a new method of payment was introduced, buying on credit. Buying on credit helped many families purchase necessities and other wants. Many of the new inventions that came out had been too expensive for the average family to buy. When credit was introduced almost everybody was able to buy things that they were not able to afford before. Credit was where people would borrow money from a bank and use it for personal use, although the bank expected you to pay them back in full amount. Each month you would give a fixed amount of money until your debt was paid off. The slogan for credit was “buy now pay later”. Many people got tricked by this because they were not using their own money so they thought that they were getting the item for less or for free and therefore they abused the credit system and many people went into debt and lost many of their belongings because they were unable to pay the bank back the full amount. Even though credit had some negative effect many good outcomes came from credit. Many people bought things that they needed and knew that they could pay off. The car was an item that could be bought on credit but a down payment was required. Credit supported many Canadians by providing transportation, clothes, and even food and it helped flourish Canadian society.

All in all consumerism changed canadian society in a positive way. It brought forth many inventions that are still used today. Mass productions off these items brought a new technique of efficient production and credit helped a bring a new way of payment that is still used today. With all these facts considered, this is why consumerism changed Canadian society in a positive way.

Bibliography 

  • “Installment Plans.” How Did Living Standards Change in the 1920’s?, livingstandards1920s.weebly.com/installment-plans.html.
  • Goss, Jennifer L. “How Henry Ford’s Assembly Line Changed Manufacturing.” Thoughtco., Dotdash, www.thoughtco.com/henry-ford-and-the-assembly-line-1779201.
  • Cranny, Michael William, and Garvin Moles. Counterpoints Exploring Canadian Issues. Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired, 2017.
  • “The roaring twenties ”Crash course. web 2019-01-17 https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/495a2451-1374-43fa-a564-979cd56f8de2/the-roaring-20s-crash-course-us-history-32/#.Wybxt6czpPZ
  • “Canada in the 1920s: The Roaring Twenties.” Canada through the 1900s, 6 Oct. 2013, pranitwadkarss11.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/canada-in-the-1920s-the-roaring-twenties/.     
24 May 2022

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