Roaring 1920s---the Get-Rich Scams

Your grandparents who lived during the 1920s, may have been a part of many ‘get-rich scams’.

With numerous ordinary citizens now having rising incomes and new conveniences available to them such as refrigerators, washing machines and telephones, many individuals were trying new ideas to gather even more wealth.

After all, this was termed the ‘Roaring Twenties’ – called “roaring” because of the exuberant, freewheeling popular culture of the decade. It was a time when many people defied Prohibition, indulged in new styles of dancing and dressing, and rejected many traditional moral standards.

However, many swindlers saw this as a golden opportunity. There was the selling of stock in companies that didn’t even exist, swampland for sale in Florida, or oilfields in California and Texas. Your grandparents may have heard the slogan: “Be Bold, Don’t be Timid — Invest Your Cash.”

The biggest attraction was Wall Street and the stock market. With stock prices rising, small investors were tantalized by the prospect of bigger returns on their savings than bank accounts would pay in interest. A major scam was the Radio Pool, in which manipulators drove up the price of RCA stock, took their profits, and left other shareholders to watch helplessly as their shares sank.

There was the formation of the Better Business Bureau, a nationwide organization formed in 1921 that investigated and alerted the public to unscrupulous operators, and increasing aggressiveness by government regulatory agencies.

Be on the lookout for any documents, stock certificates, records from that time frame belonging to relatives, which just might show similar scams.

Photos: 1920s radio, families and Wall Street.

Related Blogs:

Beginning of the Consumer Age

The Summer of 1925

What Our Ancestors had in the 1920s

< Return To Blog Thankyu for this Post .
linda coop 27/07/20

You are very welcome. Always interesting to come up with the unusual, the lesser-known and many times forgotten aspect of our ancestors' lives.
alice 27/07/20

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