Social Studies - 2019-20

USII.6a - Inventions and Innovations in the Early Twentieth Century

The student will apply social science skills to understand 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;

Adopted: 2015


The 1920s and 1930s were a time of cultural and economic changes in the nation. During this period, the nation faced significant domestic challenges, including the Great Depression.

To what extent does the American economy shape the American experience?


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


Results of improved transportation brought about by affordable automobiles

 Greater mobility

 Creation of jobs

 Growth of transportation-related industries (e.g., 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

 Development of the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell) and 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


Updated: Jul 12, 2019