U.S History, 1st hour
Leisure activities of the Progressive/Gilded era
During 1894, through 1915, Americans began to have more leisure time than their predecessors.* The main reason for this was industrial employers decreased working hours, and cut the work time on Saturdays in half.* Vacations began to be offered to workers as a gift from their employers, although most vacations at this time were unpaid. The workers soon became overworked. During the time of shortened work hours, they were made to work harder, and faster; this led to the desire in the worker to have leisure time away from their job and away from the city.* During the progressive movement workers health and well-being received more attention; this contributed to more leisure time for the workers. Also with the invention of Electrical lighting in the streets, made nighttime leisure activities less dangerous for all. People responded to the increased amount of leisure time by attending and participating in a variety of activities. Some of these activities were recently invented, such as basketball, and football. For the people that lived within big cities, the Vaudeville shows were a major attraction. Shows often ran constantly so that people could come and go as they pleased. The vaudeville shows broke barriers, set by previous generations. It forced different ethnic and economic groups to mix in the audience. For people out in the country, there were many more varieties of activities for one to participate in. Many people with limited budgets went to beaches, or parks. Because of this, many resorts opened on the outskirts of cities, near beaches and national parks. Amusement parks also began to spring up near beaches; Coney Island, New York, founded in 1897, was one of these pioneering parks. These Amusement parks offered rides, fun houses, acting, and the latest of technological breakthroughs: moving pictures. In the mid-1880’s, National parks were created...