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.
The word Documentary was coined by Scottish documentary filmmaker John Grierson 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, Jogn 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
Charts based on Billboard music charts.
In 1926, the US Federal government actually poisoned alcohol in a effort to end alcohol consumption during Prohibition. By the end of Prohibition, 10,000 Americans died due to the alcohol’s poisoning.
“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 originally broadcast Christmas Eve 1926 on WCCO in Minneapolis.
Pop Culture News:
Harry Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix on October 31 (Halloween), at the age of 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 America company to adopt a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories. Rate of pay was $5 per day, considered very high at the time.
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 in order to win $750K as stipulated in Charles Vance Millar’s will. The prize ended up being split among four women who each had 9 babies.
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 found in a hotel room, she never explained why.
Rin Tin Tin made $6,000 a week as a dog actor in 1926.
Q-Tips Baby Gays (invented as ‘Baby Gays’ in 1923) were 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 in public spaces without a special license. (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.
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 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 Notable 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