Brief Timeline of American Literature, Music, and Movies 1890-1899

1890-1899

1900-1909

1910-1919

1920-1929

This page provides a limited sample of the music and films available during the period 1920-1929.  The music links here appear courtesy of the sites listed at the bottom of the page; please visit them for more information about the music of this era. Films are listed with their principal star or director.  Music files on this page are in RealAudio unless otherwise noted.

Because they reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and prejudices of their times, some materials of this era may be offensive to listeners.  The perspectives expressed in these films or recordings do not represent the attitudes of  the site author.

To see pictures of wax cylinder phonographs and other early recording equipment, go to http://www.tinfoil.com/gallery.htm
See also Jim Zwick's comprehensive site on Anti-Imperialism in the United States (see also the  "Stereoscopic Views of War and Empire" section).

Literature Music Movies
1890
  • Emily Dickinson, Poems 
  • Howells, A Hazard of New Fortunes 
  • Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives 
  • James, The Tragic Muse
  • Sarah Orne Jewett, Tales of New England
  • 1878. The world's earliest playable recording: voices for an experimental talking clock. 1890-1891 "The Third Verse of Mary and John, or The Lovers' Quarrel" (Will White) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.) .
    1891 . .
  • Death of Melville (b. 1819) in obscurity in New York. 
  • Mary E. Wilkins FreemanA New England Nun and Other Stories 
  • Rose Terry Cooke, Huckleberries Gathered from New England Hills 
  • Howells, Criticism and Fiction 
  • Dickinson, Poems: Second Series
  • Hamlin Garland,Main-Travelled Roads
  • Mary N. Murfree, In the "Stranger People's" Country
  • "Five Minutes with the Minstrels" ([Voss's] First Regiment Band) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • "La Media Noche" (United States Marine Band) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • .
    1892 . .
  • Death of Whitman (b. 1819)
  • Frances E. W. Harper, Iola Leroy, the most popular work by an African-American woman writer of the 19th century.
  • Death of Rose Terry Cooke (b. 1827)
  • Mary Hallock Foote, The Chosen Valley
  • William Dean Howells, The Quality of Mercy
  • Grace King, Tales of a Time and Place
  • Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus and His Friends
  • (1892-1893) "Lanciers with Figures Called" (Issler's Popular Orchestra)(RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • "Take Your Time, Gentlemen" (Press Eldridge) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • "The Esquimaux Dance" (Peter Tuson; features as instruments clarinet, piano, anvil, and dog) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • The Clown and his Dogs (dir. Emile Renaud)
    1893 . .
  • Henry James, The Real Thing and Other Tales
  • Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. Crane publishes this edition at his own expense under the pseudonym Johnston Smith.
  • Alice French (Octave Thanet), Stories of a Western Town
  • Henry Blake Fuller, The Cliff-Dwellers
  • McClure's Magazine  (New York), 1893-1929, which will become famous for publishing "muckraking" articles from c.1901-12, reformist exposes such as Ida Tarbell's "The History of the Standard Oil Company," Lincoln Steffens's "The Shame of Minneapolis," and Ray Stannard Baker's "The Right to Work." S. S. McClure's My Autobiography  (1914) was written by Willa Cather. 
  • . Blacksmith Scene (William K. L. Dickson, Edison Studios)
    1894 . .
  • Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson 
  • Harriet Prescott Spofford, A Scarlet Poppy and Other Stories
  • Kate Chopin, Bayou Folk 
  • Howells, A Traveler from Altruria (utopian novel)
  • Death of Constance Fenimore Woolson (b. 1840)
  • Edward Everett Hale, The Brick Moon and Other Stories
  • Gertrude Atherton, Before the Gringo Came
  • Hallelujah Chorus (Battery Band of New York)(RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)

    Annie Oakley (RealPlayer)
    Athlete with Wand
    Buffalo Dance (first appearance of Native Americans before a moving picture camera)
    Chinese Opium Den
    Corbett and Courtenay before the Kinetograph (boxing)
    Edison Kinetographic Record of a Sneeze (Fred Ott's Sneeze)

    Carmencita, the Spanish Dancer and scenes from Japan
    Imperial Japanese Dance
    Sandow
    Leonard-Cushing Fight
    Miss Jerry (adventures of a "girl reporter")

    1895 . .
  • Death of Frederick Douglass 
  • Alice Brown, Meadow-Grass: Tales of New England Life
  • Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Violets and Other Tales
  • Constance Fenimore Woolson, The Front Yard and Other Italian Stories
  • Stephen Crane,The Red Badge of Courage; Black Riders 
  • Hamlin Garland, Rose of Dutcher's Coolly
  • James Lane Allen, A Kentucky Cardinal
  • Simon Pokagon, An Indian on the Problems of His Race
  • "And Her Golden Hair was Hanging Down Her Back" (Banta's Orchestra)  (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • L' Arroseur arrosé 
    Dickson Experimental Sound Film (Note: This has recently been restored to include both sound and picture as Edison intended.)
    Chapeaux à transformations
    Le Déjeuner du chat
    The Execution of Mary Stuart (dir. Thomas Edison)
    The Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race
    Repas de bébé (dir. Louis Lumière; one of the first movies ever shot; first shown on December  28, 1895)
    Rough Sea at Dover
    1896 . .
  • Henry James, "The Figure in the Carpet" 
  • Crane, George's Mother; The Little Regiment and Other Episodes of the American Civil War 
  •  Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs 
  • Harold Frederic, The Damnation of Theron Ware 
  • Abraham Cahan, Yekl
  • Dickinson, Poems: Third Series 
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar, Lyrics of Lowly Life
  • James Lane Allen, Summer in Arcady
  • Birth of F. Scott Fitzgerald (d. 1940)
  • Macmillan Co.  founded.
  • . Butterfly Dance
    Bois du Bologne (dir. Georges Méliès)
    Awakening of Rip (several short films put together form an adaptation of Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle")
    The Kiss (This brief scene from The Widow Jones, which featured a kiss between May Irwin and John Rice, was considered scandalous in its day.) 
    Li Hung Chang at Grant's Tomb
    The Prodigal's Return; 3 a.m. (comedy)
    Babies' Quarrel
    American Falls from Above, American Side (Niagara Falls)
    Atlantic City Boardwalk 
    Trilby and Little Billee (from George Du Maurier's phenomenally popular novel Trilby)
    The Terrible Railway Accident
    Train Coming Out of Station, Philadelphia, Pa.
    1897 . .
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson, Children of the Night
  • Simon Pogagon, "The Future of the Red Man"
  • Mary Hartwell Catherwood, The Spirit of an Illinois Town and The Little Renault
  • Ellen Glasgow, The Descendant
  • Kate Chopin, A Night in Acadie
  • James, What Maisie Knew; The Spoils of Poynton 
  • Ruth McEnery Stuart, In Simpkinsville: Character Tales
  • Richard Harding Davis, Soldiers of Fortune
  • Doubleday & McClure founded.
  • Death of Harriet Jacobs 
  • Birth of William Faulkner (d. 1962) 
  • "The Mocking Bird" (whistling solo) (RealAudio file from a  wax cylinder recording at Cylinders on the Web)Updated Link
  •  "The Liberty Bell March"  (Edison Concert Band) (Note: For those born after 1897, this is probably better known as the theme song to Monty Python's Flying Circus.) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • "It Don't Seem Like the Same Old Smile" (George Gaskin) (RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • Arrest in Chinatown
    The Bad Boy and Poor Old Grandpa
    Elephants at the Zoo
    Fastest Wrecking Crew in the World 
    Mr. Edison at Work in His Chemical Laboratory
    President Cleveland and President McKinley
    Return of Lifeboat
    Ten Nights in a Barroom
    Visit of St. Nicholas 
    Unveiling of the Washington Monument 
    An Unfriendly Call (comedy)
    Young America (comedy)
    1898 . .
  • Gertrude Atherton, The Californians
  • Finley Peter Dunne, Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War
  • Henry James, "The Turn of the Screw" 
  • Stephen Crane, The Open Boat and Other Tales of Adventure
  • Brander Matthews, Outlines in Local Color
  • Abraham Cahan, The Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories
  • Frank Norris, Moran of the "Lady Letty"
  • Death of Edward Bellamy (b. 1850)
  • Death of Harold Frederic (b. 1856)
  • "The Charge of Roosevelt's Rough Riders" (Columbia Orchestra) (RealAudio file from a  wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
    "The Sleigh-Ride Party"(The Greater New York Quartet)(RealAudio from Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
    "Cocoanut Dance" (Vess L. Ossman, the Banjo King)(RealAudio from Robert's Old Schmaltz Archives)
    "Baby, Baby" (Miss Minnie S. Emmett, "first female American recording star")(RealAudio from Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)

    Chopin, Nocturne in F (Joseph Pizzarello)(RealAudio from Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)

    Roosevelt's Rough Riders Embarking for Santiago
    Roosevelt's Rough Riders
    War Correspondents, 21 April 1898 (New URL)
    1899 . .
  • Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman and  The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line
  • Crane,The Monster and  War is Kind 
  • Kate Chopin, The Awakening
  • Alice Dunbar-Nelson, The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories
  • Alice Brown, Tiverton Tales
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wall-paper
  • James,The Awkward Age 
  • Norris, McTeague; Blix
  • Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835-1921), The Nemesis of Motherhood
  • "Whistling Rufus" (Vess L. Ossman, the Banjo King) (RealAudio file from a  wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)

    "At the Circus"(RealAudio file from a  wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)

    "Mrs. McCloud's Reel" (Irish bagpipe)(RealAudio file from a  wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)

    .


    Music Sites:

    Please visit these sites for more information and to express your appreciation for making this music available:

    Redhotjazz.com http://www.redhotjazz.com
    Cylinders on the Web
    Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine Site.
    Bill Edwards' Ragtime Sheet Music Covers
    The American Variety Stage page at the Library of Congress
    Ragtime MIDI files courtesy of the Primeline MIDI Library.
    The Victrola Shop


    iPod users might be interested in the Radio Memories and Edison's Attic podcasts available (free) through iTunes.

    Note that all links under the music column require either RealPlayer, Quicktime, or some other type of plug-in, such as Windows Media Player.  Much of this software may already be installed on your computer; if not, various plug-ins are available for free at the following sites:

    Quicktime:        http://www.apple.com/quicktime/
    RealPlayer:        http://www.realplayer.com
    Windows Media Player: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/default.asp
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