1926 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1926 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1926

  • World-Changing Event: Robert Goddard’s first liquid-fueled rockets were tested in Auburn, Massachusetts.
  • Influential Songs include When the Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along by Al Jolson, and Always by George Olson (and many others).
  • The Movies to Watch include The Son of the Sheik, The Scarlet Letter, The Bat, Faust, and The General.
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Charlie Chaplin
  • Notable books include Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard
  • Price of Bayer Aspirin in 1926: 100/72 cents. Price of generic Aspirin in 2019: 500/$4.99.
  • The Male Sex Symbol was: Rudolph Valentino
  • The Conversation: Where did Agatha Christie disappear to?

Top Ten Baby Names of 1926

Mary, Dorothy, Betty, Helen, Margaret, Robert, John, William, James, Charles

US Life Expectancy

(1926) Males: 55.5 years, Females: 58.0 years

The Stars

Josephine Baker, Dolores Costello, Marion Davies, Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy, Mary Pickford, Anna May Wong

Miss America

Norma Smallwood (Tulsa, OK)

Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders

The first SATs took place on June 23, 1926. They were called the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SATs changed names in 1990, becoming the Scholastic Assessment Test. The first ‘college board’ exams were in 1901.

The Oyster Watch, created by Timex, was the first waterproof watch.

The Brannock Device was patented (#US1725334A). It was the first foot-size measuring mechanism.

Chock Full o’Nuts was founded. They added coffee a few years later.

All Hass avocados are descended from a single tree, grafted by Rudolph Gustav Hass in 1926.

Winnie-the-Pooh, written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard, was published on October 14.

Stella Artois was launched as a seasonal beer for Christmas in 1926.

US Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926

Maidenform’s uplifting brassiere was patented in 1926. The adjusted strap fastener came out in 1942.

Phencyclidine (aka PCP, angel dust) was first synthesized.

Scottish filmmaker John Grierson coined the word documentary in his review of Robert Flaherty’s film Moana.

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1926 include

Gene Austin, Franklyn Baur, Ben Bernie & His Orchestra, Henry Burr, Vernon Dalhart, Ruth Etting, Johnny Hamp, and His Orchestra, Al Jolson, Isham Jones & His Orchestra, Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra, Benny Krueger & His Orchestra, Ted Lewis & His Band, Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra, Nick Lucas, Johnny Marvin, John McCormack, George Olson, and His Orchestra, The Revelers, Harry Richman, Bessie Smith, Whispering Jack Smith, Fred waring’s Pennsylvanians, Ethel Waters, Paul Whiteman, and His Orchestra


In 1926, the US Federal government poisoned alcohol to end alcohol consumption during Prohibition. By the end of Prohibition, 10,000 Americans died due to alcohol poisoning.

The Quote

“We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this but… we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face… a man will be able to carry one in his pocket.”
-Nikola Tesla, 1926

The First Radio Jingle

The first first-ever commercial jingle was a radio ad for Wheaties in 1926. It was initially broadcast on Christmas Eve 1926 on WCCO in Minneapolis.

Pop Culture Facts & History

Harry Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix on October 31 (Halloween) at 52. He was unprepared for several punches to his gut on a dare, on Oct. 22nd.

Dr. Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16th… it traveled about 184 feet.

Ann Turner Cook was the first Gerber Baby, introduced in 1926.

On May 1, 1926, Ford Motor Company became the first large American company to adopt a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories. The pay rate was $5 per day, considered very high then.

Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio became the Walt Disney Studio.

The musical standard pitch (A = 440Hz) has only been standard since 1926,

The Great Stork Derby was a contest held in Toronto from 1926-1936, in which women competed to produce the most babies to win $750K, as stipulated in Charles Vance Millar’s will. The prize ended up being split among four women with nine babies each.

1914-1926 Ford Model T came in “any color you want, so long as it’s black.”

Mercedes-Benz was founded on June 28.

Agatha Christie disappeared from December 3, 1936, through December 14, 1926. Later, she was found in a hotel room, but she never explained why.

Rin Tin made $6,000 a week as a dog actor in 1926.

Q-Tips Baby Gays (invented as ‘Baby Gays’ in 1923) was rebranded. The “Q” stands for quality. The “Tips” are the cotton thingys on both ends.

Sinclair Lewis refused to accept the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1926 because he felt the winning book, Arrowsmith, was chosen for its popularity more than its literary merit. He remains the only person to decline the award.

On November 15, The NBC radio network opened with 24 stations.

New York City passed several laws banning dancing without a special license in public spaces. (The laws are still enforced today.)

Poland sent the US a (150th) birthday card with over 5 million signatures. Polish citizen Leopold Kotnowski visited the White House to present the card for America’s birthday. It has 30,000 pages full of art, photos, poems, and pressed flowers.

Leslie Kelley published the first Blue Book in 1926, now a standard guide in automotive sales in determining car value.

The Survivalist

Arctic explorer Peter Freuchen was trapped under an avalanche while on an expedition. He escaped from death by fashioning a shiv out of his own frozen feces and amputating his foot.

Nobel Prize Winners:

Physics -Jean Baptiste Perrin
Chemistry -Theodor Svedberg
Physiology or Medicine -Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger
Literature -Grazia Deledda
Peace -Aristide Briand, Gustav Stresemann

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1926

After Noon by Susan Ertz
Beau Geste by P. C. Wren
Beau Sabreur by P. C. Wren
The Blue Window by Temple Bailey
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
The Hounds of Spring by Sylvia Thompson
The Private Life of Helen of Troy by John Erskine
Show Boat by Edna Ferber
The Silver Spoons by John Galsworthy
Sorrell and Son by Warwick Deeping
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard


World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Maroons
U.S. Open Golf: Bobby Jones
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): Rene Lacoste/Molla B. Mallory
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Jean Borotra/Kathleen Godfree
NCAA Football Champions: Alabama & Stanford
Kentucky Derby Winner: Bubbling Over
Boston Marathon Winner: Johnny Miles Time: 2:25:40

Only 5 NFL Games have ended with a 2-0 score:

  • November 29, 1923: Akron Pros 2, Buffalo All-Americans 0
  • November 21, 1926: Kansas City Cowboys 2, Buffalo Rangers 0
  • November 29, 1928: Frankford Yellow Jackets 2, Green Bay Packers 0
  • October 16, 1932: Green Bay Packers 2, Chicago Bears 0
  • September 18, 1938: Chicago Bears 2, Green Bay Packers 0

More 1926 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1926
1926 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Fact Monster
1920s Fads (BabyCenter.com)
1920s, Infoplease.com World History
1926 in Movies (according to IMDB)
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
1920s Slang
Wikipedia 1926