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20th Century: Fourth Decade


American Gothic
Grant Wood, 1930

Radiovisor gave blurry
orange TV picture, 1930

Scotch Tape

Persistence of Memory
Salvador Dali, 1931

IBM Radiotype

Felix the Cat TV image>
broadcast by RCA

35 mm reflex camera
Germany, 1933

Nazi book burning

King Kong

Dali's Mae West
Salvador Dali's
Mae West, 1934

Mechanical TV
30 line scan, 1936

Piet Mondrian's Opposition of Lines
Piet Mondrian's
Opposition of Lines,
Red and Yellow

George Stibitz' Model K
calculator, 1937

Paul Klee's Picture Album
Paul Klee's
Picture Album, 1937

Magritte's Time Transfixed
René Magritte's
Time Transfixed, 1938

Wire recorder
invented in 1939

1930: Photo flashbulbs replace dangerous flash powder.
1930: Nancy Drew starts solving mysteries in novels for girls.
1930: On Broadway, George and Ira Gershwin's Girl Crazy.
1930: The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook sells the first of 15,000,000 copies.
1930: From AT&T, high quality insulated phone wire.
1930: "Golden Age" of radio begins in U.S.
1930: Hollywood tightens self-censorship with the Motion Picture Code.
1930: Dick and Jane "See Spot Run."
1930: Lowell Thomas begins first regular U.S. network newscast.
1930: TVs based on British mechanical system roll off factory line.
1930: Most nations use radio to educate. The American School of the Air is U.S. effort.
1930: Movie cartoon character Mickey Mouse gets a comic strip.
1930: U.S. customs officials seize James Joyce's Ulysses as obscene.
1930: BBC transmits a play by television, 240 lines/sec of resolution.
1930: Boston bans Leon Trotsky's writings.
1930: Vannevar Bush's partly electronic computer can solve differential equations.
1930: Blondie and Dagwood join the daily comics.
1930: José Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses will lead to his exile from Spain.
1930: A more practical, affordable car radio goes on sale.
1930: Grant Wood paints the American Gothic.
1930: NBC sets up experimental TV transmitter in New York.
1930: Dashiell Hammett invents the hard-boiled detective with The Maltese Falcon.
1930: Sinclair Lewis becomes the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1930: Published photos show Americans the hard times of the Depression.
1930: Archibald Crossley improves the radio rating method.
1930: Broadway gets professional stage lighting.
1930: Oscars: All Quiet on the Western Front, George Arliss, Norma Shearer.
1930: Also at the movies: The Big House, Bulldog Drummond, Disraeli.
1931: Commercial teletype service.
1931: Annual U.S. radio advertising: $31 million as depression worsens.
1931: Dick Tracy arrives in newspaper comics as "Plainclothes Tracy."
1931: RCA broadcasts experimental TV image of familiar Felix the Cat.
1931: Jenkins Radiovisor uses slotted, spinning wheel to send experimental TV image.
1931: Scotch Tape.
1931: Scrabble.
1931: Radios sit in 2 of every five U.S. homes.
1931: U.S. Radio Commission flexes muscle, orders two Chicago stations off the air.
1931: IBM Radiotype transmits electric typewriter keystrokes.
1931: Most popular radio orchestras: Guy Lombardo, Paul Whiteman.
1931: Most popular radio singers: Kate Smith, Rudy Vallee.
1931: New radio singers: Bing Crosby, the Mills Brothers.
1931: Salvador Dali's painting, Persistence of Memory, shows limp, hanging watches.
1931: At the New York Group Theater, Lee Strasberg introduces method acting.
1931: Popular news commentators: Walter Winchell, Lowell Thomas, H.V. Kaltenborn.
1931: Bigoted radio priest Charles Coughlin splits with CBS, goes independent.
1931: Effort by black journalist fails to cancel radio program Amos 'n' Andy.
1931: In Berlin, lone genius Konrad Zuse invents a computer, but is ignored.
1931: "Hill-and-dale" vertical phonograph record introduced.
1931: Two-way radio phone service from U.S. to Hawaii.
1931: Metropolitan Opera with Milton Cross begins its long weekly radio engagement.
1931: Electronic TV broadcasts in Los Angeles and Moscow.
1931: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie will become a classic.
1931: Pearl Buck's novel The Good Earth looks at peasant poverty in China.
1931: Allen DuMont improves the cathode ray tube.
1931: Dick Tracy joins the comic strips. Look for the wrist radio.
1931: Gershwin and George S. Kaufman's Pulitizer winner, Of Thee I Sing.
1931: Little Orphan Annie will be one of many children's daily radio programs.
1931: Exposure meters go on sale to photographers.
1931: William Faulkner's Sanctuary examines Southern aristocracy.
1931: Stephen Vincent Benét, Ballads and Poems, 1915-30.
1931: The Star Spangled Banner becomes U.S. national anthem.
1931: Bell Labs experiment with stereo recording.
1931: Artist Georgia O'Keefe, Red, White, and Blue.
1931: Nobel Prize in Literature: poet Erik Karlfeldt, Sweden.
1931: Oscars: Cimarron, Lionel Barrymore, Marie Dressler.
1931: Also at the movies: Min and Bill, The Front Page, Trader Horn.
1931: NBC experimentally transmits 120-line screen.
1931: Germany manufactures audio tape recorders.
1932: Allen DuMont secretly develops radar for U.S. Army.
1932: Disney adopts a three-color Technicolor process for cartoons.
1932: Jack Benny goes on the air, the first of many variety comedy shows.
1932: Novelist John Galsworthy wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1932: Visagraph translates print into embossed pages so blind can read, see pictures.
1932: Electric-eye enables typesetting machine to scan print without operator.
1932: BBC broadcasts television four days a week.
1932: Lindbergh baby kidnapping shows power of radio news to capture listeners.
1932: The Times of London uses its new Times Roman typeface.
1932: Aldous Huxley's sci-fi classic, the dystopian Brave New World.
1932: Radio patent medicine pitchman, "Dr." Brinkley, nearly voted Kansas governor.
1932: Stereophonic sound in a motion picture, Napoleon.
1932: Oscars: Grand Hotel, Wallace Beery and Frederic March (tie), Helen Hayes.
1932: Also at the movies: Laurel and Hardy's The Music Box.
1932: Zoom lens is invented, but a practical model is 21 years off.
1932: Dashiell Hammett's novel, The Thin Man will become movie series.
1932: Herbert Kalmus develops optical and dye 3-color Technicolor process.
1932: Flowers and Trees, first to use 3-color Technicolor, also first Oscar for cartoon.
1932: Noel Coward's play, Design for Living.
1932: Erskine Caldwell's novel of rural poverty, Tobacco Road.
1932: For home movies: 8 mm cameras and film.
1932: NBC and CBS allow prices to be mentioned in commercials.
1932: Song "It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing" foretells swing era.
1932: Radio City Music Hall opens in Manhattan.
1933: The first magazine for men, Esquire.
1933: Multiple-flash sports photography.
1933: Erskine Caldwell writes another best seller, God's Little Acre.
1933: The first King Kong sends the giant ape up the new Empire State Building.
1933: Franz Werfel's best known novel, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.
1933: The Lone Ranger arrives. He and Tonto will ride the radio waves until 1954.
1933: Russian émigré Ivan Bunin wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1933: O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness, a comedy from the playwright of tragedies.
1933: Singing telegrams.
1933: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels employ power of radio to influence the masses.
1933: FDR begins radio Fireside Chats, bypasses hostile newspapers.
1933: Oscars: Cavalcade, Charles Laughton, Katharine Hepburn.
1933: Nazis use "big lie" technique in mass media propaganda.
1933: Also at the movies: 42nd Street, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang.
1933: Philo Farnsworth displays electronfic television.
1933: Nazis begin burning of books.
1933: Dorothy Day founds The Catholic Worker, supports pacifism, social causes.
1933: The first real comic book, Funnies on Parade, on the newsstands.
1933: Despite title, Gertrude Stein is author of Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
1933: In just 90 minutes over special line, CBS reports attempted assassination of FDR.
1933: U.S. newspapers pressure AP to cut service to radio, start "Press-Radio War."
1933: Radio stations fight back with own correspondents; UP, INS keep radio service.
1933: Drive-in movie theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.
1934: Mary Poppins, a children's book by P.L. Travers.
1934: A bookseller's catalogue is devoted to detective fiction.
1934: Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, banned in U.S., is published in Paris.
1934: Associated Press starts wirephoto service.
1934: Tender is the Night, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
1934: Radio phone service from U.S. to Japan, but plagued by fading, interference.
1934: Wurlitzer and Seeburg make eye-catching jukeboxes.
1934: On Broadway, Cole Porter's musical, Anything Goes.
1934: Soviet Union makes a television broadcast.
1934: James Hilton's novel about a beloved teacher, Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
1934: Robert Graves' novel, I, Claudius, describes excesses of ancient Rome.
1934: International Telecommunication Union merges telegraph, radio groups.
1934: Catholic Legion of Decency pressures Hollywood to adopt Production Code.
1934: In Germany, a mobile television truck roams the streets, catches Nazi rally.
1934: In Scotland, teletypesetting sets type by phone line.
1934: "High fidelity" records are advertised.
1934: Oscars: It Happened One Night, and its stars, Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert.
1934: Also at the movies: The Thin Man, Of Human Bondage.
1934: William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.
1934: Arnold Toynbee publishes the first of 12 volumes of A Study of History.
1934: Benny Goodman on NBC's Let's Dance starts big band swing era on radio.
1934: Flash Gordon docks on the comic pages. The movie serial follows in two years.
1934: Terry and the Pirates, including the Dragon Lady, battle in a comic strip.
1934: Nobel Prize in Literature: playwright and novelist Luigi Pirandello, Italy.
1934: Mutual Broadcasting System becomes fourth U.S. network.
1934: Playwright Lillian Hellman, The Children's Hour.
1934: Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express, one of more than 80 novels.
1934: Mikhail Sholokhov's novel, And Quiet Flows the Don, translated into English.
1934: FCC is created to regulate U.S. broadcasting and telecommunication.
1934: Half of the homes in the U.S. have radios.
1934: Surrealist René Magritte, The Human Condition.
1934: Li'l Abner, Daisy Mae, and the rest of Dogpatch.
1935: Film Becky Sharp exhibits improved three-color Technicolor system.
1935: George Gershwin's jazz opera, Porgy and Bess, debuts on Broadway.
1935: Germany begins TV programming with 180-line resolution.
1935: BBC chooses electronic television over mechanical after six-month trial.
1935: New Fun Comics begins the creation of original comic book cartoons.
1935: Playwright Robert Sherwood, The Petrified Forest.
1935: In England, Penguin Press sells paperbacks.
1935: Alcoholics Anonymous and its well-publicized 12-step program.
1935: On radio: Hit Parade, sponsored by Lucky Strike.
1935: Thomas Wolfe's Of Time and the River continues semi-autobiographical tale.
1935: Howard Armstrong introduces FM radio, but its real future is 15 years off.
1935: German single lens reflex roll film camera synchronized for flash bulbs.
1935: IBM's electric typewriter comes off the assembly line.
1935: Martin Block's Make Believe Ballroom introduces disc jockeys.
1935: T.S. Eliot's play, Murder in the Cathedral.
1935: First telephone call made around the world.
1935: A telephone call goes around the world.
1935: In Germany, Nazis burn books.
1935: Two plays from Clifford Odets,
1935: Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing.
1935: Demagogues on U.S. radio: Huey Long, Charles Coughlin, Gerald L.K. Smith.
1935: All-electronic VHF television comes out of the RCA lab.
1935: Kodachrome is the first successful amateur color film.
1935: In Nazi Germany, magnetic tape and Magnetophone recorder are developed.
1935: Admiral Richard Byrd sends Radiotype message 11,000 miles from Antarctica.
1935: Oscars: Mutiny on the Bounty, Victor McLaglen, Bette Davis.
1935: Also at the movies: The Informer, Naughty Marietta, Ruggles of Red Gap.
1935: Sponsors develop, control U.S. radio programs.
1935: Philosopher Goerge Santayana's only novel, The Last Puritan, popular success.
1935: Nobel Prize in Literature: no award.
1935: Two-way speaker system becomes a standard for cinemas.
1935: Tweeter and woofer reduce loudspeaker distortion.
1935: John Steinbeck attains reputation with Tortilla Flat, stories about California.
1935: Our Oriental Heritage, the first of Will Durant's 15 volumes of history.
1936: William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! examines Southern attitudes toward race.
1936: American playwright Eugene O'Neill wins Nobel Prize in Literature.
1936: John Maynard Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.
1936: Porky Pig joins the animated cartoon barnyard.
1936: Electric guitars.
1936: H.V.Kaltenborn broadcasts a Spanish Civil War battle live.
1936: Sergei Prokofiev composes Peter and the Wolf, beloved by children.
1936: An actor, Eddie Albert, is hired to write, produce and star in television dramas.
1936: Irish law bans advertising any birth control devices.
1936: Electronic speech synthesizer mimics human speech.
1936: In U.S., daily test broadcasts of 300-line cathode ray TV.
1936: A.C. Nielsen proposes measuring radio audiences, acquires M.I.T. audimeter.
1936: Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, may be most popular novel ever.
1936: Robert Benchley's humorous essays, My Ten Years in a Quandary.
1936: Pulitzer awarded for Broadway play, You Can't Take It with You.
1936: BBC starts world's first television service, three hours a day.
1936: Berlin Olympics are televised closed circuit.
1936: Republican National Committee invents negative radio campaign soundbites.
1936: Bell Labs invents a voice recognition machine.
1936: In Mexico City, Diego Rivera completes the mural, The History of Mexico.
1936: Oscars: The Great Ziegfeld, Paul Muni, Luise Rainer.
1936: Also at the movies: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Our Gang's Bored of Education.
1936: The March of Time is honored for its newsreels.
1936: Henry Havelock Ellis completes monumental Studies in the Psychology of Sex.
1936: Life, the picture magazine, begins publication1936; introduces photo essays.
1936: CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, goes in the air.
1936: BASF/AEG audio tape recording of a live concert.
1936: 33 million radio sets in the U.S.
1936: Rodgers and Hart's musical, On Your Toes, with "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."
1936: In England a symphony concert is tape recorded.
1936: Co-axial cable connects New York to Philadelphia.
1936: Alan Turing's "On Computable Numbers" describes a general purpose computer.
1937: George Stibitz of Bell Labs invents the electrical digital calculator.
1937: John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men, tragedy of two drifters in California.
1937: Decades of reporting pay off with passage of child labor law.
1937: Oscars: The Life of Emile Zola, Spencer Tracy, Luise Rainer.
1937: NBC has 111 affiliate stations; CBS has 105.
1937: The Shadow, weekly network radio drama, presented until 1954.
1937: Also at the movies: Dead End, Good Earth, Lost Horizon, Captains Courageous.
1937: Pulse Code Modulation points the way to digital transmission.
1937: Film One Hundred Men and a Girl puts nine music channels on one track.
1937: BBC transmits final mechanical television program.
1937: NBC sends mobile TV truck onto New York streets.
1937: One of Agatha Christie's best, Death on the Nile.
1937: Pablo Picasso paints the Guernica, showing the horrors of war.
1937: Artist Georges Braque, Woman with a Mandolin.
1937: More than half of all American homes now boast a radio.
1937: A recording, the Hindenburg crash, is the first coast to coast broadcast.
1937: Chester Carlson invents the photocopier, Xerography process.
1937: British testers judge electronic television superior to mechanical.
1937: Nobel Prize in Literature: novelist Roger du Gard, France.
1937: The NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini will play for 18 years.
1937: J.R.R. Tolkien opens up a fantasy world with his novel, The Hobbit.
1937: On Broadway, Rodgers and Hart, Babes in Arms and I'd Rather Be Right.
1937: Karen Blixen, under pseudonym Isak Dinesen, writes Out of Africa.
1937: Theodore Geisel, "Dr. Seuss," begins writing, illustrating books for children.
1937: NBC refuses government talk on venereal disease.
1938: Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize play, Our Town.
1938: Churchill completes 4-volume biography of ancestor, Duke of Marlborough.
1938: Lewis Mumford's The Culture of Cities argues for old values in modern society.
1938: Jean-Paul Sartre writes his absurdist first novel, Nausea.
1938: Strobe lighting.
1938: John Dewey's Logic: The Theory of Inquiry argues his view of epistemology.
1938: Baird demonstrates live TV in color.
1938: Radio broadcasts can be taped and edited.
1938: Aaron Copland composes Billy the Kid.
1938: 50 million radio sets in the U.S.
1938: Robert Sherwood stages Abe Lincoln in Illinois, a Pulitzer Prize winner.
1938: Nobel Prize in Literature: American Pearl Buck for novels of Chinese peasants.
1938: Surprise U.S. radio hit: Information Please.
1938: Oscars: You Can't Take it with You , Spencer, Tracy, Bette Davis.
1938: Also at the movies: Boys Town, Jezebel, Angels with Dirty Faces.
1938: The first full-length animated film, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
1938: The first of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia religious allegories.
1938: Two brothers named Biro invent the ballpoint pen in Argentina.
1938: CBS World News Roundup ushers in modern newscasting.
1938: DuMont markets electronic television receiver for the home.
1938: Orson Welles' radio drama, War of the Worlds, causes national panic.
1938: Superman arrives in Action Comics #1 from Krypton.
1938: The Grand Ole Opry radio show is nationally famous.
1938: More than 80 million movie tickets (65% of population) sold in U.S. each week.
1939: Mechanical television scanning system abandoned.
1939: Karen Horney's New Ways in Psychoanalysis dismisses Freudian "penis envy."
1939: Era of jazz composers, including "Satchmo" Armstrong and "Duke" Ellington.
1939: The Man Who Came to Dinner, Broadway hit by Kaufman and Hart.
1939: AC bias control improves tape recorded sound.
1939: Christopher Isherwood's novel Goodbye to Berlin; it will lead to Cabaret.
1939: New York World's Fair shows television to the public.
1939: If Superman can do it as a comic book, why not Batman?
1939: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, joins the Christmas festivities.
1939: Regular electronic TV broadcasts begin in the U.S.
1939: Katherine Anne Porter's short story collection, Pale Horse, Pale Rider.
1939: Western Union introduces coast-to-coast fax service.
1939: From Western Union, coast-to-coast fax.
1939: Multiphone expands jukebox choices from 20 tunes to 170 using phone lines.
1939: Raymond Chandler's first detective novel, The Big Sleep.
1939: Air mail service across the Atlantic.
1939: Nobel Prize in Literature: novelist Frans Sillenp■■, Finland.
1939: Many TV firsts: sports coverage, variety show, feature film.
1939: Oscars: Gone with the Wind, Robert Donat, Vivien Leigh.
1939: Also at the movies: The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
1939: Joyce's Finnegan's Wake may be the most complex novel ever written.
1939: The wire recorder is invented in the U.S.
1939: Both houses of U.S. Congress get radio broadcasting galleries.
1939: NBC starts first regular daily electronic TV broadcasts in the U.S.
1939: U.S. radio networks pledge minimum of horror, excitement in war coverage.
1939: John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, describes Dust Bowl migration.
1939: Radio brings the public first reports of World War II events.
1939: Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn published in Paris, banned in U.S. as obscene.
1939: Pocket Books enters paperback market.

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Copyright © Irving Fang and Kristina Ross, 1995-1996. All rights reserved.