Social Studies - 2017-18

USII.6a - Technological Advancements in the early 20th century

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by

a)  explaining how developments in factory and labor productivity, transportation (including the use of the automobile), communication, and rural electrification changed American life and standard of living.

Blooms Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


Big Themes/Concepts: Innovation, Needs vs. Wants, Movement, Communication, Systems, Efficiency, Rural vs. Urban

New inventions and technologies changed where and how Americans lived and worked. 

New inventions and technologies change the way we live. 

Changes in technologies of transportation and communication, in values and habits, and economic life transformed the face of American life in the 1920’s.

The United States became an urban nation, with a diverse population and variety of values.


Technology extended progress into all areas of American life, including neglected rural areas

How and why did technology and American society change during the twenties?

Why did problems develop in the American economy in the 1920’s?

What were the ideas and issues that made the 1920’s “roar”?

Is what is good for American business good for America?

How can leadership affect a nation?

How was social and economic life in the early twentieth century different from that in the late nineteenth century?

What factors increased factory and labor productivity?


Results of improved transportation brought about by affordable automobiles

·  Greater mobility

·  Creation of jobs

·  Growth of transportation-related industries (road construction, oil, steel, automobile)

·  Movement to suburban areas

Invention of the airplane

·  The Wright brothers

Use of the assembly line

·  Henry Ford, automobile

·  Rise of mechanization

Communication changes

·  Increased availability of telephones

·  Development of the radio and broadcast industry

·  Development of the movies

Ways electrification changed American life

·  Labor-saving products (e.g., washing machines, electric stoves, water pumps)

·  Electric lighting

·  Entertainment (e.g., radio)

Improved communications

Make connections between the past and the present. (USII.1b)

Interpret ideas and events. (USII.1d)


mobility, suburban, Wright brothers, Henry Ford, electrification, mechanization, labor-saving products, neglected. 

Updated: Aug 17, 2017