Our five poets who published during the 1910's decade hail from opposite sides of the "big pond"; Marcia Knight from Rushden, Northampton, England, Emily Sargent Lewis from New York City, Georgia Douglas Johnson from Georgia, Marietta M Andrews of Virginia, and Althea Randolph from New Jersey, USA.

Overview of the decade:

The 1910's saw the United States swept up in world events, and it is in this decade that the U.S. is first considered a major world power. Technological and communication advances continued to change the fabric of everyday life and social problems prompted important new legislation as war loomed on the horizon.

Presidents of the 1910's:

William Howard Taft


Woodrow Wilson


Panama Canal

In 1910 the population of the world reached 1.5 billion, or 1,500,000,000 (as of this writing it is 7.8 billion!). Communication between these people (most of whom lived in Asia), was evolving in ways many people of the time could not have imagined just a decade or two before.

1910 saw Marconi establish the first American-European radiotelegraph service. Telegraph had, up to this time, been used mainly for ship to shore communications, but in 1912 the first trans-Pacific service was also established between San Francisco and Hawaii.

Speech was first transmitted via radio signal in 1915 between New York and San Francisco, laying the foundation for the explosion of audio radio that was to characterize the next several decades. Morse code was further developed, introducing the dot-dash SOS pattern as the universal signal of distress. One of its first uses occurred on board the Titanic as she frantically signaled for help in the early hours of 15 April 1914 before she sank to the bottom of the ocean, taking 1,517 souls to their deaths.

In 1913 an engineering triumph was completed as the Panama Canal opened for shipping, while at home the first moving assembly line was invented in 1914, enabling the mass production of goods that would be disbursed world wide through this amazing waterway.

Some improvement had been made toward at least limiting the exploitation of children as factory workers, yet this decade saw only 1/3 of children receiving an elementary school education and 10% graduating from high school.

radiotelegraph in the 1910's

The decade saw the struggle for women's suffrage which was finally won with the passing of the 19th amendment in 1919. Women voted for president for the first time in the 1920 election.

Prohibition of alcohol was a cause that was growing in popularity and would lead to its banishment by 1920.

As a backdrop to all of the advances and social issues of the 1910's, war was brewing in Europe, and was officially begun in July of 1914 with the declaration of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. In April of 1917 President Wilson declared war against Germany, and the United States entered the war. By the time it emerged from World War I in June of 1919, the U.S. had developed into a major world influence, a position that would expand and grow as the subsequent decades unfolded.

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