In the early 20th century, people went about their day-to-day lives – from going on dates to taking walks in the park – yet it was completely different from how we would do those activities in the present day.
For one, people were a lot more daring in their activities and they had things like war and the Prohibition constantly on their minds that would’ve affected the way they lived. From pet crocodiles to plunging into Niagra Falls in a barrel, these vintage photographs will show you what life was like in the first half of the 1900s.
“On-line” Dating Was Not What You Think
Back in the ’20s, young lovers dated online or rather, on-a-line. This young couple appears to be having a blast on a pulley ride at a fair in London’s Hampstead Heath in 1922. This early form of recreational zip-lining looks dangerous considering the riders don’t have on any protective gear. They seem to be pretty close to the ground though, and hopefully, they didn’t have to ride that far out.
Aerial cables have been used as transport methods for more than 2,000 years, but it wasn’t until 1739 when steeplejack and ropeslider Robert Cadman first used one as entertainment. Unfortunately, he didn’t survive.
They Were Some Real Daredevils
This construction worker in New York City decided to pull a daring stunt and walk on a construction girder twenty stories in the air – all while completely blindfolded! This photo was taken in 1925, at a time when construction jobs were abundant as New York City’s most iconic skyscrapers were being built.
Cameras were also the hip, new thing back in those days and workers decided to have fun by posing for wild photos in mid-air like this one. Of course, plenty of men lost their lives during this time. It was believed that one man would die for every $1 million spent on a skyscraper.
Horse Diving Was A Must-See
These folks are gathered around to witness Eunice Winkless perform one of the most exciting sports at the time: horse diving. In 1905, Winkless performed this stunt for a Fourth of July event. The stunt woman dove from a 50-foot high tower into a small pool all while on horseback.
This was by far one of the most daring stunts performed as a part of the Wild West shows that were popular during the early 1900s. Other attractions included mock bison hunts, bronco riding and roping, and of course, marksmanship competitions.
Pedal Skating In The Park
Roller skates were invented as early as the mid-1700s. Back then, roller skates were very much like inline skates but were hard to steer and stop, so they weren’t very popular. But in 1913, pedal skates came along.
Charles A. Nordling of Suisun, California created this variation on the classic roller skate where the wheels were rotated on a pedal that was pushed by the person who wore them. This supposedly made it easier on the user, who wouldn’t have to use so much energy and could actually manage to skate at a high speed.
Walking On A Sea Of Logs
These loggers are walking on a pile of logs that float in the middle of a river. This log jam on Minnesota’s Littlefork River is being used to build a loading boom. At the time, booms were used to collect floating logs that have fallen into a body of water due to timbering in the neighboring forests.
By 1900, timber in the Midwest was dwindling, so loggers took to the Pacific Northwest. It wasn’t long before resources became scarce but forests continued to get logged at a growing rate.
Pigs Could Fly At The Time
Lieutenant-Colonel JTC Moore-Brabazon was a pioneer in English aviation. Perhaps when he was a boy telling people he wanted to fly planes, people scoffed and remarked, “when pigs fly.”
Not only was Moore-Brabazon the first Englishman to pilot a heavier-than-air machine under power in England but he was also the first person to qualify as a pilot in the United Kingdom. On October 30, 1909, he also helped a pig fly, proving all of his naysayers wrong. To pull off the stunt, Moore-Brabazon put a small pig into a wastebasket and tied it to the wing-strut of his plane.
The Beach Had A Dress Code
These ladies are having their bathing suits measured to see that they comply with the law. In 1922, Colonel Sherrill, the Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds in Washington, D.C., issued an order that required all bathing suits worn on the beach must not be more than six inches above the knee.
If you broke that law back in those days, a policeman could issue you a warrant. There were even policemen that patrolled local beaches specifically for the purpose of measuring women’s bathing suits.
Behind Bars On The Way To Jail
In 1924, police forces already began using motorcycles and even had the power to apprehend someone on the spot if they wanted to. This Los Angeles traffic policeman locked up one surly motorist in his sidecar cell.
The offender was already behind bars by the time he made it to the precinct. This method obviously didn’t last long. It was pretty dangerous for the person in sidecar cell and most of the time, the policeman wouldn’t even need to use it, so he’d be lugging around extra weight for no reason.
Another Day On The Job For This Young Newsie
This six-year-old newsboy has been on the job for at least a year when his photo was taken on May 9, 1910 in St. Louis, Missouri. Delivering or selling the newspaper was often a youngster’s first job back in those days.
While some of them established subscription routes on which they worked as paperboys, others would hawk the papers on the street by yelling out the sensational headlines. Some ambitious newsies often did both. At this time, newsies were the main distributors of newspapers to the general public.