Topics in Chronicling America – The Rise of the Flapper

The flapper craze arrives on the American scene in the 1920s, featuring young libertine women who bob their hair and dance the Charleston in short dresses. They frequent jazz clubs and use flapper jargon like “the cat’s meow,” “the bee’s knees,” or “that’s so Jake.” In 1922, the Weekly-Journal Miner (Prescott, AZ) printed a photo of a flapper, labeled from head to foot, complete with bobbed haircut, felt hat, and knee-length fringed skirt.” Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


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Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1920: Olive Thomas stars in the Frances Marion film, “The Flapper.”
  • 1920: F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes a collection of short stories entitled “A Story of Flappers for Philosophers.”

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] British flapper, modern girl, flapper style, jazz, bob haircut.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results. For best results, limit your search to articles published between the years 1920-1922.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

Source: www.loc.gov

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