What Technology Was Available During the 1930s?


Planes, trains and automobiles were available during the 1930s, and other technological advances led to the availability of telephones, radios and electric ranges, which improved on their wood-burning or gas predecessors. In fact, the 1930 census included the question of whether families had radio in their homes. Radar, scotch tape, long-playing phonographs, frozen foods, color and talking movies, and cartoons were all inventions of the 1930s.

The decade was ushered in by the 1929 stock market crash, which led to the Great Depression. Widespread unemployment, poverty and starvation marked the time period. Advancements in the film industry led to the creation of iconic films such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” and “Gone With the Wind.” Eastman Kodak invented its first color film, Kodachrome.

In an effort to connect with the American people and hide his polio symptoms, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the radio to broadcast his fireside chats. This allowed him to talk directly to the American people about social change and boosted public opinion of him. New homes were furnished with the latest technologies, which included electric washers, irons, tea kettles and coffee pots. Older homes were brought up to date with running water, light fixtures and water heaters.