2010 – What’s Cookin’ in the 1920’s

We took a look into the simple life of Taneytown in the 1920’s…. Home was a very special place, filled with people, smells, and sounds that were familiar and comfortable. There were no televisions, no computers, and very little money for anything frivolous. People created their own fun…singing, reading, playing games, and exploring the fields and farms. Life was not boring, as farm life was very busy. Life was predictable, if not exciting. The kitchen was the center of activity in the home. Warmed by the stove, it was also the laundry room, cooking and baking center, as well as the best place to read and listen to stories.

Family life on a farm was very different from life in town in the 1920s. There was no electricity or indoor plumbing. Farming was hard work, with long days and little money. Work and play revolved around the seasons. Every member of the family had chores — milking cows, harnessing horses, gathering eggs, cleaning the outhouse, cooking and baking, washing clothes, and more. Children usually walked to school, rain or shine, and spent summers helping in the fields. Farm families looked forward to trips to town, church gatherings, visiting, and other social events. With help from neighbors, 1920s farm families brought in the harvest, battled fires, and coped with accidents and illness.

In the Cities, things were changing. The name “Flapper” is derived From the big rain boots popular during the time, that were worn un-buckled in front, making a flapping effect when the girls walked in them. Having won the right to vote.

The new “emancipated” woman, the flapper, demanded to be recognized as man’s equal in all areas. She adopted a masculine look, bobbing her hair and abandoning

Susquehannock Indians

The Susquehannock Indian nation was located along the Susquehannock River, from the north end of the Chesapeake Bay in modern day Maryland across Pennsylvania and into New York, which includes the Taneytown area. The word ‘Susquehannock’ means ‘people of the muddy river’, in reference to the Susquehanna River. Little is known about the Susquehannock, but they were farmers, fishermen, and hunters. In the spring they planted corn, beans, and squash. After the planting was completed, they would move to temporary camps on the Chesapeake Bay where they would hunt and fish. In the fall they would return to harvest the crops and to continue hunting.

In the Late 1920s, Modern Conveniences Were Moving to the Farms

  • 1920 Taneytown Area Population 2,533
  • 1920 US Populations 106,521,537
  • 1924 Taneytown got Electric Street Lamps
  • 1920s Life Expectancy: Male 53.6 Female 54.6
  • 1920s Average Annual Earnings $1,1236
  • 1928 58% of all farms had cars
  • 1928 34% had telephones
  • 1928 13% had electricity