Radio is still a popular form of entertainment. Just about every household that has electricity has a radio. AM stations broadcast news, music and radio shows. In 1941 the first FM station out of Nashville is aired.

Television is still a luxury item and only a very small percentage of American homes own one. Broadcasts are few and announced via other media as to when something will air and it is typically sports, or plays. It isn't until 1945 that NBC begins regularly scheduled broadcasts and it televisions won't be a common in households until years later.

Telephones are pretty common in wealthy and middle class homes as well as in most businesses. The candlestick phone has been replaced by the heavy, black rotary phones in most homes.

International calls are possible, but the quality isn't great and there is no guarantee you will be able to complete your call.

Private phone lines are only for the /really/ wealthy, most households are part of a telephone party line, in which neighborhoods shared the phone lines and if you picked up the phone there was a chance you would be hearing the phone conversation of other people using the phone. If that was the case you just had to wait until they were done before you could make your call.

Going to the movies is a popular past time. News reels are played before the feature and tell of things going on internationally. Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Bob Hope, Gary Cooper and many more movie stars were household names and Abbott & Costello were a popular comedy team. Disney was releasing the occasional movie, including Dumbo in 1941.

Other Stuff

How they talked:

How they dressed:


Men were still pretty dressed up. Suits, ties and hats were commonplace in public. Women wore dresses and skirts — they still didn’t wear slacks yet.

Clothes in the 1940s were very bright and colorful. The brighter the better. Women’s shoes were often one of three popular color choices: red, white or blue.//

How they spent money:


1938 - A research facility in the Baltic Sea opens to research military rocketry

1939 - Nuclear Fission discovered
1939 - World's Fair in New York City - Theme Future Technology
1939 - Albert Einstein writes Roosevelt warning that Germany may we working on nuclear weaponry
1939 - WWII begins

1940 - German Enigma coding machine captured by Britain
1940 - US and Britain begin studying nuclear weaponry
1940 - German blitz on London, using radio navigation and jamming
1940 - Microwave radar smuggled into the US, bring the knowledge of this to the US
1940 - Roosevelt creates the National Defense Research Committee, Uranium Committee is created, this later becomes the Manhattan Project
1940 - MIT Radiation Lab opens to research the British Microwave Radar
1940 - Germans firebomb London

1941 - Britain routinely breaks Germany's enigma codes
1941 - Britain reports Atomic Bomb possible, later in the year expands nuclear research
1941 - First gassings at Auschwitz Camp begin
1941 - US begins nuclear bomb program

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License