Brief Timeline of American Literature, Music, and Movies

Pre-1650 1650 1700 1750 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840
  1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920
Literature, Music, and Movies
1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s
Music Movies Literature
  • "Come Josephine in my Flying Machine" (RealAudio from
  • "Temptation Rag" (Prince's Military Band) (RealAudio from
  • "Reuben Rag" (Sophie Tucker)(RealAudio file from a wax cylinder recording at Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders.)
  • "Wild Cherries Rag" (Victor Orchestra) (RealAudio from
  • "The Argentines, the Portuguese, and the Greeks" (Nora Bayes; date uncertain;
  • .
  • Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
  • Deaths of Mark Twain (b. 1835), Rebecca Harding Davis (b. 1831), and William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) (b. 1862)
  • 1911
  • "Grandfather's Clock" (Hayden Quartet; 1908-1913)
  • "Oceana Roll"(RealAudio from Robert's Old Schmaltz Archives)
  • White Roses (Mary Pickford)
  • Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
    Theodore Dreiser, Jennie Gerhardt
    24 January. Progressive journalist and popular novelist David Graham Phillips (b. 1867) is shot and killed outside the Princeton Club in New York.
  • The Masses (New York), 1911-1918
  • 1912
  • "Alexander's Ragtime Band"  (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
  • "Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (are there any more at home like you?)" (Victor Opera Light Sextette; 1908-1913)
  • Waiting for the Robert E. Lee (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
  • "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" (Ada Jones from
  • An Unseen Enemy (Lillian Gish; dir. D. W. Griffith) 
    The Musketeers of Pig Alley (dir. D. W. Griffith) 
    The New York Hat (Mary Pickford; titles by Anita Loos)
  • Edith Wharton, The Reef
  • Willa Cather, Alexander's Bridge
  • Theodore Dreiser, The Financier
  • Sui-Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton), Mrs. Spring Fragrance
  • Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage
  • James Weldon Johson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
  • Mary Antin,The Promised Land
  • Founding of Poetry magazine.
  • 1913
  • "You Made Me Love You" (Al Jolson) 
  • "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" (written by Ballard McDonald and Harry Carroll), performed by Walter Van Brunt (Library of Congress)
  • "Put on Your Slippers and Fill Up Your Pipe"(RealAudio from Robert's Old Schmaltz Archives)
  • .
  • Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country
  • Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
  • Ellen Glasgow, Virginia
  • Robert Frost, A Boy's Will
  • Jack London, The Valley of the Moon
  • Henry James, A Small Boy and Others
  • Oscar Micheaux, The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer
  • Vanity Fair (1913-1936)
  • 1914
  • "Sympathy Waltz" (Victor Orchestra) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "Irresistible--Tango Argentine" (Victor Orchestra) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary" (American Quartet) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "I Want to Go Back to Michigan" (written by Irving Berlin), performed by Billy Murray and Chorus (Library of Congress)
  • "Ball In' the Jack" (National Promenade Band at
    "Aba-Daba Honeymoon" (RealAudio from the Library of Congress)
    "The Raggedy Man" (poem by James Whitcomb Reilly)
  • Mabel at the Wheel (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (D. W. Griffith) 
  • Judith of Bethulia (D. W. Griffith) 
  • A Good Little Devil (Mary Pickford) 
  • Theodore Dreiser, The Titan
  • Henry James, Notes of a Son and Brother
  • Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
  • Vachel Lindsay, The Congo
  • Carl Sandburg, Chicago
  • Frank Norris Vandover and the Brute
  • Sinclair Lewis, Our Mr. Wrenn
  • Ambrose Bierce (b. 1842) disappears in Mexico and is presumed dead.
  • Death of S. Weir Mitchell (b. 1829)
  • Death of Sui-Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton)
  • 1915
  • "Nola" (Novelty ragtime tune by Felix Arndt; MIDI file) 
    Desperate Desmond (vaudeville routine by Frederick Duprez) 
    "Keep the Home Fires Burning" (Ivor Novello; date unknown) (RealAudio from the Library of Congress )
    "Gasoline Gus and his Jitney Bus" (RealAudio from the Library of Congress )
  • "My Lady of the Telephone" (Edison recording at
  • "Moonlight Bay" (Premier Quartet at
  • The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) 
    The Birth of a Nation (D. W. Griffith) 
    Rags (Mary Pickford) 
    Regeneration (dir. Raoul Walsh) 
    A Fool There Was (starring "vamp" Theda Bara)
  • Chaplin, The Bank
    Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco (Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle; Mack Sennett)(Library of Congress; new URL)
  • T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 
  • Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
  • Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
  • Margaret Deland, Around Old Chester
  • Theodore Dreiser, The "Genius"
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher, The Bent Twig
  • Robert Frost, North of Boston
  • 1916

    "Guatemala-Panama March" (The Hurtado Bros. Royal Marimba Band of Guatemala) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "The Globe Trot" (Victor Military Band)(RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding" (RealAudio from the Library of Congress)
    "Are You from Dixie?"(RealAudio from the Library of Congress)

  • The Rink (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • The Pawnshop (Charlie Chaplin)
    The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (Douglas Fairbanks) 
    Intolerance  (D. W. Griffith)
  • Carl Sandburg, Chicago Poems
  • Sherwood Anderson, Windy McPherson's Son
  • Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger
  • William Dean Howells, The Leatherwood God
  • Grace King, The Pleasant Ways of St. Medard
  • Amy Lowell, Men, women, and Ghosts
  • Ring Lardner, You Know Me Al
  • Deaths of Henry James (b. 1843)Jack London (b. 1876), and Richard Harding Davis (b. 1864)
  • 1917
  • Dixieland "Jass" Band One-Step(RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
  • "Over There" (written by George M. Cohan), performed by Billy Murray 
  • "Good Morning, Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip" (Arthur Fields; date uncertain)  (Note Sinclair Lewis's use of this song in Dodsworth)
  • Easy Street (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • The Immigrant (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • Wild and Woolly (Douglas Fairbanks) 
  • The Poor Little Rich Girl and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Mary Pickford) 
  • Hamlin Garland, A Son of the Middle Border
  • Abraham Cahan, The Rise of David Levinsky
  • Sinclair Lewis, The Job
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay, Renascence
  • T. S. Eliot, Prufrock and Other Observations
  • David Graham Phillips, Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise
  • Edith Wharton, Summer
  • Oscar Micheaux, The Homesteader
  • Pulitzer Prizes established.
  • 1918

    If I'm Not at the Roll Call (Kiss Mother Good-bye for Me) (War Edition) 7x10 inches"Au Revoir but Not Goodbye" (Henry Burr) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "My Dough Boy" (One-Step) (Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
    "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" (performed by Arthur Fields; excerpt) (RealAudio clip from
    "Over There" (Enrico Caruso at
    "Over There" (Nora Bayes, the singer usually associated with this song, at
    "Mazel Tov" ( I. J. Hochman's Yiddisher Orchestra at

  • Shoulder Arms (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • Hearts of the World (D. W. Griffith) 
  • The House of Mirth (from the novel by Edith Wharton; dir. Albert Capellani) 
  • Old Wives for New (from the novel by David Graham Phillips; dir. C. B. DeMille)
  • Willa Cather, My Antonia
  • Edith Wharton, The Marne
  • Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams 
  • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Edgewater People
  • Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons

  • O. Henry Award for the short story established
  • Since Katy the Waitress became an Aviatress (1919)"Salvator Rosa - Mia piccireila" (Enrico Caruso) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
  • "Lucille" (Wilbur Sweatman's Original Jazz Band ) (RealAudio file from Dismuke's Site.)
  • "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (RealAudio from the Library of Congress)
  • "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)" sung by Nora Bayes; 
  • "Ja-Da" (

  • "Nobody" (Bert Williams) (
  • "Suicide Blues" (Arthur Collins at
  • Sunnyside (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • His Majesty, the American (Douglas Fairbanks) 
  • Broken Blossoms (D. W. Griffith) 
  • Daddy Long Legs (Mary Pickford) 
  • Male and Female (Gloria Swanson; version of G. B. Shaw's The Admirable Crichton dir. Cecil B. DeMille)
  • Pulitzer Prizes:  For literature--Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons; for biography--Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
  • Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
  • This page provides a limited sample of the music and films available during the period 1910-1919.  The music links here appear courtesy of the sites listed at the bottom of the page; please visit them for more information about the music of this era. Films are listed with their principal star or director.  Music files on this page are in RealAudio unless otherwise noted.

    Because they reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and prejudices of their times, some materials of this era may be offensive to listeners.  The perspectives expressed in these films or recordings do not represent the attitudes of  the site author.
    To see pictures of wax cylinder phonographs and other early recording equipment, go to

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