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1890 – 1930 Fascination with technology A new culture sprang up, based on technology. High speeds, the phonograph – light bulbs – light machine guns –

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Presentation on theme: "1890 – 1930 Fascination with technology A new culture sprang up, based on technology. High speeds, the phonograph – light bulbs – light machine guns –"— Presentation transcript:

1 1890 – 1930 Fascination with technology A new culture sprang up, based on technology. High speeds, the phonograph – light bulbs – light machine guns – Parsons steam turbine – the Tesla machine – pneumatic tyres – diesel motors – Ford cars – cameras with film – gramophone records – x-rays – Marconi – radio-telegraphy – Freud – magnetic sound recording – aeroplanes – Einstein These discoveries did not always affect the general population directly, but a new dynamism spread through society with a sense of the speed at which it changed. In this age of scientific and technological discovery as steam gave way to electricity, the main characteristic of the period was this awareness of increasing speed as one change followed another. Speed pervaded every aspect of human communication, including the arts. Banner of the Electricians Trade Union in 1893 with the motto: Knowledge is Power

2 The Eiffel Tower, World Exhibitions and Johannes V. Jensen Between 1890 and 1930, Europe and America witnessed one of the greatest experiments in the history of the world. All forms of modernism seemed to be embodied in one great metaphor: the Eiffel Tower. It was constructed in 1889 as the focal point for the World Exhibition in Paris. The theme of the exhibition that year was production and transformation. The triumph of the present over the past. Industrial affluence superseded the wealth of landowners. The most important aspect of the tower was its mass- appeal. At the end of the 19th century there was no longer any general unease about machines. They symbolised mastery of work processes and had played their part in shaping cities. In 1892 the French persuaded the rest of the world that the exhibition should be held in Paris again in This time it was more retrospective. The century of electricity, railways, steam engines and imperialism was presented for review.

3 Modern life in town The new industries, increasing trade and modern life in general converged in the big towns. The new economy drew in labour and consumer goods, and the urban populations rose dramatically. Smoke poured from chimneys, and tramways linked up new districts in the towns, while the first illuminated advertising appeared, and the entertainment business took off. Artists, politicians, merchants and intellectuals all moved into the towns, which thus became a melting pot for the trends of the times, and life in town became synonymous with modern living. This urban expansion also had drawbacks. For many workers it meant low wages and miserable living conditions. Neon lights in central Copenhagen, 1925

4 Machines and speed The world was revolutionised yet again at the end of the 19th century by motor transport. In combination with the telegraph and the telephone, it reduced the size of the globe. Speed itself was the critical element. The railways, cars, motor cycles and, later on, aeroplanes were the tangible signs of a journey into the future. Modern people used motor transport to signal status. Johannes V. Jensen posed for a photograph on a motor cycle, and Poul Henningsen in a car, while the poet Emil Bönnelycke and the Futurist artists acclaimed fast machines. The gazelle companies of the age were in the petrol industry or car manufacturers. Motor transport also opened up new possibilities that transformed the travel industry, the news media, diplomacy – and war.

5 Design, furnishing og architecture. The transition to mass production around 1900 made new demands on the way goods were formed. Careful planning was necessary before production began, which gave rise to the concept of design. The designers task was to ensure that new manufacturing techniques were correctly applied, while at the same time adding quality and beauty to utilitarian objects. It was widely hoped that mass production would improve the overall quality of life. Others considered that in addition to quantities of consumer goods, quality of life also depended on beauty and harmony in the individuals surroundings. In this way developments in industry led to the appearance of a number of new design styles.

6 Niels Bohr, Einstein and Picasso In their different fields, Niels Bohr, Einstein and Picasso stood out, even among the greatest intellectuals and creative thinkers of the 20th century. Their descriptions and explanations broke away from the typical view of the world held by the positivists and naturalists. The universe could not be described by Newtons laws alone. Their explanations called for the vision to look beyond the obvious. Albert Einstein revolutionised the under-standing of the universe in 1905, when he put forward his theories of light, space and time. In 1913, Bohrs atomic model explained the phenomenon of light and showed that humans could even rearrange the building blocks of matter. Picasso, who moved in intellectual circles, realised that after Einstein, it was necessary to find entirely new ways of portraying the world.

7 LIGHT OVER THE LAND J. F. Willumsen: After the storm, 1916 The white lightning strikes fatefully close to the woman. The forces of the universe become symbols of spiritual powers. Light was a central theme in both art and science around While electric lighting went from strength to strength across the country, light was an important symbol for painters, composers and authors. Scientists too were fascinated with light – and the most notable Danish example was the doctor Niels R. Finsen, who used both sunlight and electric light to treat patients. There were often parallels between the ways scientists like Finsen and artists regarded light. It represented the human hope for relief and healing for body and soul. In its way, this movement for light was a reaction against the dark and unnatural side of the industrial revolution.

8 HYGIENE The discovery of bacteria in about 1860 provided an explanation for many diseases. Hospitals consequently made use of sterilisation and people wanted clean drinking water and proper sewers. It made a difference in peoples homes too. Housewives learned new methods of cleaning and preparing food. Louis Pasteur

9 The breakthrough of the mass media Inventions like the rotary press, the telegraph, telephone, and later on the radio, added a new dimension to communications. Messages that previously took weeks to reach their recipients now came through in minutes. The new means of communication accelerated the exchange of goods and services. News was exchanged much faster, and the world became smaller. Printed pictures and broadcast sound prepared the ground for the mass media. The information society put down roots.

10 Sounds and images New media like photography, the phonograph and gramophone made the rise of mass culture technically possible. They attracted enormous interest around 1900, so sound and picture reproduction was soon widespread. In 1890, photography was an elaborate process, only possible in a professional photographers studio. By 1930, holiday-makers could pack their own cameras in their suitcases to record special events. New technology made it possible to print photographs in newspapers and magazines. Artists, the press and the advertising industry all made use of photographs, which became a means of mass communication. During the same period, sound also made its breakthrough in private homes. In the early days, people went to phonograph-cafés and paid to hear a piece of music. Gradually they bought gramophones to play the latest music themselves with their families and friends. Berliners gramophone record, 1897 Edison bought this 1890 gramophone to test Berliners invention. The original 1913 Leica

11 The film industry Films were originally intended for use in scientific work, but very soon they were in enormous demand throughout the world for entertainment. Less than five years after the first of these living pictures had been shown in 1891, cinemas were drawing full houses. Films gave rise to a whole new industry. Among the first producers to take advantage of the new opportunities they offered was the Danish founder of the worlds largest film company at the time – Nordisk Film. Films brought new developments in acting, the language of pictures and story-telling techniques. Before long, film-making was an independent art form on its own terms. Films became the culture of the masses, and the new medium whirled up great stars and famous people on a scale the world had never known before.

12 J.C.H. Ellehammer (1871 – 1946) The period around 1900 was characterised by a succession of important inventions. Society was fascinated by the inventors who created the new machines and appliances. In Denmark, J.C.H. Ellehammer was one of them. He worked with many of the new discoveries of the period: x-rays, electricity, combustion engines and aeroplanes. He was granted a total of 59 Danish patents and many abroad, although none of his inventions became internationally famous. The Danish people were proud of Ellehammer. He promptly recognised the potential of inventions from other countries, and introduced them in Denmark, experimenting with them and adding refinements or smaller inventions of his own. The role played by Ellehammer was very significant in bringing modern technology to Denmark. Danish Museum of Technology

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