What is this?

learn-to-can-thumbOur exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Postcards of Savin Rock, New Haven, 1920s, gift of Robert F. Phelan.

Postcard the Thunderbolt Roller Coaster, Savin Rock, New Haven, 1920s, gift of Robert F. Phelan.

From the period of 1918-1945, people in Connecticut joined in nationwide trends to improve working conditions, fight for women’s rights, build new transportation infrastructures, and enjoy more leisure time.

Movie theater ticket office, photograph taken by Arthur Kiely, Jr., Windsor, 1941.

Movie theater ticket office, photograph taken by Arthur Kiely, Jr., Windsor, 1941.

Connecticut’s parks, shoreline, and lakes provided a welcome break for workers as trolleys and railroads made access available and affordable for many people. Lake and beach resorts grew to meet the demand for time away from work.

Girls at beach, gift of Mr. Otto Gast Jr.

Girls at beach, gift of Mr. Otto Gast Jr.

Between the two world wars, working hours were once again shortened. Radio advertisements promoted activities like going to the movies (with the innovation of sound and color), the beach (to get a tan), and waterfront amusement parks for shows and mechanical rides.

“Dance steps” from Modern Dancing, 1914. Reproduced from the original in the CHS collection.

“Dance steps” from Modern Dancing, 1914. Reproduced from the original in the CHS collection.

The phonograph made music portable. Men and women played tennis, golf, and basketball. Spectator sports like baseball, college football, and boxing grew, although attendance fell during the Great Depression.

Harold “Holly” Mandly, Jr., one of the most successful amateur golfers in the history of the Connecticut State Golf Association, 1938.

Harold “Holly” Mandly, Jr., one of the most successful amateur golfers in the history of the Connecticut State Golf Association, 1938.

During this time, local groups like the Rotary and Lions Clubs offered free social activities and organized service projects like planting trees.

Schedule for the Hartford High School football team, Hartford, 1931.Reproduced from the originals in the CHS collection.

Schedule for the Hartford High School football team, Hartford, 1931.Reproduced from the originals in the CHS collection.

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