LIFE IN THE 20TH CENTURY

The pace of life changed a great deal in the 20th Century - technology and knowledge expanded at an alarming rate.

Fashions changed drastically. At the beginning of the century women were clothed in long dresses in typical Victorian fashion. The 1920's saw the age of the "flapper" when dresses were shorter and the flat chested look was very much in vogue. Then it became fashionable for women to dress in a very boyish manner. After the first world war, dresses returned to being conservative but shorter. During the second world war, clothing changed again to save on material. The 1960's brought an explosive change in fashions with miniskirts, followed by the colourful hippy clothing and then the androgenous look. The bikini was invented and caused an uproar as it became increasingly smaller over the years.

Women gained the vote at the beginning of the century and womens rights became stronger throughout the century.

During the first world war many women worked in occupations usually taken by men.

Silent movies were invented at the start of the century and gradually "talkies" were made.

The first cars appeared and also the first planes. By the 1930's most homes had a radio and most people went to the cinema a couple of times a week.

TV sets began appearing in the average household in the 1950's.

Polio reached epidemic proportions in the late 1940's to early 1950's and caused widespread panic. Some victims were faced with life in an iron lung and others were left either paralysed or disabled.

Most of the technology increased initially because of wartime situations and then was applied to normal day to day use. Penicillin was the miracle drug of the century and medical science made advances in leaps and bounds. The first heart transplant took place in 1967.

At the start of the century bakelite was used in the production of many items such as telephones, radios and was the forerunner of plastic. Once plastic came into popular use in the 1970's, there was no turning back. Plastic was used for everything, including clothing.

The 1950's and 60's saw a revolution in music and fashion.

Man first set foot on the moon in July of 1969

The Vietnam War filled the daily news in the 1970's and music focussed on anti war sentiment.

Computers became available for home use.

Fast food made a tentative appearance with the Wimpey Bar in the 1950's.