Birth of the Modern
After the Armistice there was the terrible let-down of realizing that our land was worth less than it had been before the war, that there was nothing to do but to worry over the mortgages. The price of wheat had been arbitrarily fixed, but not the price of labor or of anything else that the farmer used. We could have paid off our mortgages and kept even with our expenses had the law of supply and demand been allowed to operate, as in every other field of business. Millionaires were made by the war, and the American farmer was impoverished.--Annie Pike Greenwood, We Sagebrush Folks ( 1934)
Historical trends seldom divide neatly into decades, yet major events of the 1920s seemed to be bracketed by the general malaise that opened the decade and the even more severe economic trouble that closed it. During this decade significant and lasting changes resulting from a growing number of automobiles, the movies, and commercial radio first became fully apparent to Pacific Northwesterners. Finally, and with no public awareness of it, during the twenties the future technology of television had its tentative beginnings in a high school chemistry lab in Rigby, Idaho. In so many ways --especially in terms of new technologies, changing tastes in popular entertainment, increased personal mobility, and the growing impact of the city on rural life-this was the Pacific Northwest's first truly modern decade.