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  • Playful Learning Design

Historic Soundscapes: Early 1900s


Certain sounds often have a specific place and time that comes to mind when we hear them. Maybe it's the sound of a train that reminds you of the neighborhood from your youth, or perhaps carnival music that reminds you of late summer. A collection of sounds from a particular era can paint a complex picture with social, political, and economical implications.

Think for a moment about life in the early 1900s in the United States. What sounds would you hear if you could step back into time? What spaces and places would represent what life was like then?

American cities and factories were bustling with life. The Wright Brothers had taken to the sky in Kitty Hawk, recording the first officially sustained heavier than air flight. The Model T Ford was just introduced, and transportation by horse or buggy was still common.

At the St. Louis World's Fair, the centennial celebration of the Louisiana Purchase promoted entertainment, consumer goods, and popular culture. At home, families enjoyed their phonographs and listened to music together.

Head on over to Soundcloud to take a moment and step back in time to the early 1900s.

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