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The roaring 20's was an era of dramatic social and polictical change. The decade was known as annees folles (Crazy Years) emphasizing the era's social artistic and cultural dynamism. 

Many things changed in this period as it was becoming more modern with the first radio transmission and automobile growth. 

Many things were invented in this period here is a list of some.

John Logie Baird a Scottish engineer demonstrated the first working television set in 1926.

Band Aid was invented in 1920 by Thomas Anderson and Earle Dickson.

The earliest instant camera, which consisted of a camera and portable darkroom in a single compartment, was invented in 1923 by Samuel Shlafrock

The worlds first liquid fuelled rocket was invented by Robert Goddard and launched on March 16 1926.

Eskimo Pie or Chocolate covered vanilla ice cream was invented by Christian Kent Nelson in 1920 and now sold by Nestle.

Water skiing was invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson when he used a pair of boards and a clothesline as a towrope on Lake Pepin in lake city Minnesota.

The first cheeseburger to be made was created by Lionel Sternberger in 1926 at the age of 16 when he was working at his fathers sandwich shop The Rite Spot.

Sir Alexander Fleming invented penicillin after studying bacteria on Friday 28th September 1928, He discovered penicillin by fortunate chance luck after a petri dish which had been left out close to a open window had been contaminated with a blue green mould.

The Humber

The automobile industry was thriving in the 1920's as people realised having a car would make getting around a whole lot easier. Soldiers coming back from world war one also bought new cars, Ford was the big car maker but there were many others. Manufacturers had found a way to make cars more efficient safer and more affordable than ever before. A lot of roads that were used for horse and cart were being replaced with for car use. Canada and the united states became a car culture and lots of jobs were created in the manufacture of new vehicles. Cars allowed people to live further away from there work place than would normally be and owning a car became a symbol of freedom and status. Some of the first roads were landscaped parkways along scenic routes. 

1921 ABC Regent 2 Seater

The Carroll Six was manufactured between 1920 to 1922 and was made by the Carroll Automobile Company of Lorain Ohio.

1928 Nash Advanced Six Coupe

Prohibition came into force in 1920 and ended in 1933. It was illegal to buy make transport import and sale alcohol but unusually it was ok to drink it.

Prohibition was a major reform movement started in the 1840's that came into effect in 1920. A movement called The Dry Crusaders led by rural protestors and social progressives was coordinated by the Anti Saloon League and the womans Christian temperance union. Prohibition was put to the US constitution and a formal consent was granted. On October 28th 1919 Congress passed the Volstead Act the popular name for the national prohibition act.

The Dry Crusaders

Prohibitions aim was to lower taxes improve health and hygiene, Lower crime and corruption, Reduce social problems. But it backfired on the government as crime increased due to bootlegging and illegal manufacture of alcohol and criminals were making huge amounts of money. Prisons and courts became overloaded and a epidemic corruption of police and other officials occurred.

Al Capone was a notorious gangster in the 1920's period. He dealt with drugs, alcohol tobacco, money laundering, gambling clubs, and brothels to name a few. Also known as Scarface this criminal made over $60 million annually from illegal liquor sales. Prohibition was a gold mine for his organisation the government just gave it to him on a gold plate.

Bugs Moran - Another 1920's era Gangster mob leader

Re-enactment of the saint valentines massacre 1929

Al Capone born January 17th 1989 Died January 25th 1947. His Chicago outfit and seven year reign ended when he was 33 years old. Born In Brooklyn New York city to Italian immigrants Using violence and bribery as a weapon he rose to the top of the criminal world. Viewed by many as the modern day Robin Hood he would regularly donate to charities and would get huge cheers at ball games and public attendances. He was eventually trialled and charge with tax evasion and got 11 years in a federal prison .Capone died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke and also had Syphilitic dementia brain disease that effects memory and the ability to think.

The Saint Valentines Day Massacre refers to a terrible murder in Chicago of seven henchmen that belonged to Bugs Morans Criminal gang. On February 14th 1929 four men disguised as police officers entered Bugs Morans north side garage and lined  up the unaware men against a wall then shot them to death. Capone hated Bugs Moran for he wanted to dominate the alcohol sales smuggling and trafficking operations so he had them shot in a show of power. Bugs Moran managed to escape the carnage as he was out of the building at the time. Each side were always trying to kill each other on another occasion Bugs Malone drove six cars past a hotel in Cicero Illionis where Capone and his associates were having lunch and showered the building with more than 1000 bullets.

Federal agents destroying perfectly good beer

In 1931, Gabby Hartnett, former Cubs catcher, signing a ball for Al Capone's son, Sonny

1920's Prohibition Poster

Protesters demanding an end to Prohibition

Prohibition was a huge mistake and the government regretted it sincerely. Costing Billions to the economy and millions to enforce it ended on December 5th 1933.

Because alcohol was legal in other countries like Canada Mexico and the Caribbean distilleries and breweries flourished as there products were either consumed when americans visited or through smuggled in illegally.

Virginia Rappe Born July 7th 1895, Died September 9th 1921, Was an American model and silent film actress. At age 14 she started working as a commercial and art model in Chicago. She became engaged to dress designer Robert Moscovitz but shortly after he was killed in a streetcar accident. She decided to move to Los angeles where she became involved in a series of silent film roles. In 1919 she met director producer Henry Lehrman and the two became engaged. She appeared in over 4 films for Lehrman but most have been lost so the exact figure is unknown. Her death was a Hollywood scandal and was sensationalised. During a party held on Labour day in Roscoe fatty Arbuckle's suite number 1219 at the san francis hotel in san Francisco Rappe suffered a trauma. She died later on from a ruptured bladder and Peritonitis which is an inflammation. 

Roscoe in his final star feature for 11 years, Leap Year, 

Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle Born March 24th 1987 - Died June 29th 1933 was an American silent film actor, Comedian, Director and Screenwriter. He was trialed for the rape and manslaughter of Rappe in his suite but after the third trial was acquitted and received a written apology from the jury. This scandal hurt his acting career and his films were banned for a year. He never really got back his lost fame and died of a heart attack in his sleep aged 46 the same day he had signed a contract with Warner Bros to make a new film.

The defense argued that Rappe had for some time suffered Cystitis, a urinary tract infection and had previously contracted a sexually transmitted infection. Drinking alcohol may of aggravated that condition.

Art Deco is a style of visual arts architecture and design that first appeared in France just before world war one. Art Deco influenced a wide variety of different things including Buildings, Furniture, Fashion, Cars, Trains, And electronic items such as Radios and Hoovers. It took it's name from the International Exhibition Of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, held in Paris in 1925.

Art Deco style Rosewood Dining Chairs 1920

Art Deco fashion was beautifully textured and richly died with bold simple designs and colours

The Chrysler Building located in New York City is styled on Art Deco, Construction started on September 19th 1928 and was completed on May 27th 1930.

Art Deco reached it's high point in 1925

Women's hairstyles also were changing in the 1920's, Women were moving away from the Victorian locks and choosing a more daring shorter look.

Gloria Swanson American actress and producer with a Bob Haircut style, Critically acclaimed for her starring role in Sunset Boulevard 1950.

Art Deco Fashion period 1920's

Flappers were a generation of young western women who flaunted and went outside what was considered the norm. They wore short skirts bobbed there hair and listened to jazz music, They also drank alcohol smoked cigarettes and buzzed around in the latest automobiles. Influenced by world war one when millions of people died it taught them that life is short and you should live it to the full.

Flappers from Left to Right - 1920's

The primitive Jazz sound which came from New Orleans now had matured into a socially accepted and needed musical prodigy. It's sound provided a means of rebellion it gave people the chance to socialize and spread there wings into a fast developing nation. African americans were raised up the cultural scale as the music blossomed and became the definite sound of the 1920;s era.

The King & Carter Jazzing Orchestra 1921 - One of the first bands to come out that played a swinging jazz not heard before.

The Cotton Club located in Harlem new York city on 142nd street

The Cotton Club served as a hip meeting spot with regular celebrity nights. The club was a whites only club even though it featured many of the most popular black entertainers of the era.

Louis Armstrong is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice born on August 4th 1901, His musical career started in the 1920's era.

1920's Jazz and Charleston


About noon on September 16th 1920, as Wall Street clerks, receptionists, and brokers were heading for lunch, a horse-drawn cart exploded in front of the offices of J.P.Morgan & the corner of Wall and Broad streets in downtown New York City. Thirty people were killed instantly, more than 300 were injured, and eight later died from their injuries. The noise was heard throughout Lower Manhattan and across the East River in Brooklyn. The smoke-filled streets were covered with a layer of shattered glass, debris from the damaged buildings, and bodies. The chief clerk of J.P. Morgan, William Joyce, who had been seated near the front window, was among those killed, and Junius Morgan, a son of J.P.Morgan, Jr, was wounded. The New York Stock Exchange, across Broad Street, was closed immediately.


The police and soldiers called in from Governors Island helped the injured, guarded the scene, and searched for evidence. The investigation ultimately confirmed that a bomb made with TNT and packed with iron window sash weights had caused the carnage and that it had been detonated by a timer after the perpetrators left the scene.

Because nobody claimed responsibility for the bombing, the New York Police Department considered a number of possible motives. The assassination of J.P. Morgan, Jr., was dismissed as a motive because he was in Europe at the time of the attack. Another possibility was an attempt to rob the adjacent Sub-Treasury Building, where $900 million in gold bars was being moved that day. The bombing was ultimately decided to have been an act of terrorism performed by “Reds” anarchists and communist sympathizers—who wanted to shatter the symbols of American capitalism. A stack of anarchist flyers found in a mailbox a block away from Wall Street supported this theory. Suspicion fell on political radicals, communists, and anarchists of foreign origin—particularly Italians, Russians, and Jews. Although detectives visited every sash-weight manufacturer and dealer in the United States, as well as 500 stables in towns along the Atlantic coast, they had no success in finding the perpetrators.

One suspect was Edwin P. Fischer, a lawyer, champion tennis player, and frequent inpatient in mental hospitals. In correspondence with friends and in conversations with strangers, he had predicted an explosion on Wall Street in mid-September. On September 16, however, he was in Canada, and his premonition was interpreted by investigators as a delusion  that came true by coincidence. Another suspect was an Italian, Pietro Angelo, who was connected to a 1919 bomb plot. Pietro produced an alibi, but he was deported to Italy nonetheless. The Secret Service and the Federal Bureau Of Investigation interrogated thousands of people and arrested many radicals, but no one was charged with the crime, and the investigation was dropped in 1940. No memorial was created to commemorate the event,  and the facade of the damaged building, at 23 Wall Street, was not repaired.


King Tutankhamun's Tomb is opened by Howard Carter.
In 1923,in Thebes, Egypt, English archaeologist Howard Carter entered a sealed burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian ruler King Tutankhamen. Because the ancient Egyptians saw their pharaohs as gods, they carefully preserved their bodies after death, burying them in elaborate tombs containing rich treasures to accompany the rulers into the afterlife. In the 19th century, archaeologists from all over the world flocked to Egypt, where they uncovered a number of these tombs.


Image Above - October 1925, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | Howard Carter working on the lid of the second (middle) coffin, still nestled within the case of the first (outermost) coffin in the Burial Chamber. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)Many had long ago been broken into by robbers and stripped of their riches. When Carter arrived in Egypt in 1891, he became convinced there was at least one undiscovered tomb - that of the little known Tutankhamen, or King Tut, who lived around 1400 B.C. and died when he was still a teenager. Backed by a wealthy Briton, Lord Carnarvon, Carter searched for five years without success. In early 1922, Lord Carnarvon wanted to call off the search, but Carter convinced him to hold on one more year. In November 1922, the wait paid off, when Carter's team found steps hidden in the debris near the entrance of another tomb.


29th/30th October 1925, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | The gold mask (Carter no. 256a) in situ on the mummy of the King, still inside the third (innermost) solid gold coffin. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


2nd December 1923, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | Howard Carter (at the top of the stairs), Arthur Callender and Egyptian workmen removing the wall between the Antechamber and the Burial Chamber to enable the dismantling of the four golden shrines enclosing the sarcophagus. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


December 1923, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | The linen pall, decorated with bronze ‘rosettes’ (Carter no. 209) inside the walls of the first (outermost) golden shrine (Carter no. 207) in the north west corner of the Burial Chamber. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


October 1926, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | A line of chests down the center of the Treasury, ending with the canopic chest (Carter no. 266) which housed the king’s linen-wrapped stomach, intestines, liver and lungs in miniature gold coffins, inside an alabaster canopic box. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


October 1926, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | The Anubis shrine (Carter no. 261) on the threshold of the Treasury viewed from the Burial Chamber. The figure of Anubis was covered with a linen shirt inscribed with the cartouche of Akhenaten. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


4th January 1923, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | Howard Carter (kneeling), Arthur Callender and an Egyptian workman in the Burial Chamber, looking through the open doors of the four gilded shrines towards the quartzite sarcophagus. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


October 1926, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | Three wooden chests (the middle one in the shape of a cartouche) on the floor of the Treasury (Carter nos. 267, 269 and 270). Amongst other items these contained earrings, sandals and a wax model of a heron. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome) The steps led to an ancient sealed doorway bearing the name Tutankhamen. When Carter and Lord Carnarvon entered the tomb’s interior chambers on 26 November, they were thrilled to find it virtually intact, with its treasures untouched after more than 3,000 years. The men began exploring the four rooms of the tomb, and on 16 February 1923, under the watchful eyes of a number of important officials, Carter opened the door to the last chamber. Inside lay a sarcophagus with three coffins nested inside one another.


December 1922, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | Objects, including the cow-headed couch (Carter no. 73) and boxes containing joints of meat (Carter nos. 62a to 62vv) piled up against the west wall of the Antechamber. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome) The last coffin, made of solid gold, contained the mummified body of King Tut. Among the riches found in the tomb - golden shrines, jewellery, statues, a chariot, weapons, clothing - the perfectly preserved mummy was the most valuable, as it was the first one ever to be discovered. Despite rumours that a curse would befall anyone who disturbed the tomb, its treasures were carefully catalogued, removed and included in a famous travelling exhibition called the "Treasures of Tutankhamen." The exhibition's permanent home is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


January 1924, Sethos II’s Tomb (‘laboratory’) | Arthur Mace (standing) and Alfred Lucas (sitting) working inside the makeshift ‘laboratory’ (set up in KV 15, the tomb of Sethos II) on the conservation of one of the two sentinel statues from the Antechamber (Carter no. 22). The statue shows the King wearing the nemes headdress, kilt and sandals, and carrying a mace and a staff. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


December 1923, Tutankhamun’s Tomb | Howard Carter (center), Arthur Callender and two Egyptian workmen lifting one roof section from the first, outermost shrine (Carter no. 207). With its double sloping roof, the shape of this shrine resembles that of a ‘sed festival pavilion’; it was made of from twenty separate oak sections, held together by a variety of different joints. (©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


November/December 1923, Sethos II’s Tomb (‘laboratory’) | Arthur Mace (left) and Alfred Lucas working outside the ‘laboratory’ set up in the tomb of Sethos II (KV 15), stabilizing the surface of one of the state chariots (Carter no. 120) found in the Antechamber.
(©️ Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, colorized by Dynamichrome)


Insulin is mass-produced for the treatment of diabetes.
Insulin is central to the treatment of diabetes, as all types of diabetes occur due to the body's inability to use blood sugar efficiently as a result of insufficient, ineffective, or nonexistent insulin supplies. The innovative scientists who discovered insulin won a nobel prize, but the discovery also caused controversy. The discovery of insulin occurred in 1921 following the ideas of a Canadian orthopedic surgeon named Frederick G. Banting, the chemistry skills of his assistant Charles Best, and John MacLeod of the University of Toronto in Canada.


Sir Frederick Grant Banting - KBE MC FRS FRSC - (November 14, 1891 – February 21, 1941) was a Canadian medical scientist, physician, painter, and Nobel laureate noted as the co-discoverer of insulin and its therapeutic potential. Several conflicting accounts of the discovery of insulin have circulated over the years, and even the Nobel Prize awarded for its discovery in 1923 came into question years later. In 1921, Dr. Frederick G. Banting became the first individual to isolate the secretions from the islet cells and tout them as a potential treatment for diabetes. He observed that other scientists might have failed to find insulin because digestive enzymes had destroyed the insulin before anyone could extract it. Banting's plan was to tie up the pancreatic ducts of laboratory dogs until the cells that produce the enzymes degenerated, leaving the sturdy islet cells alive. He would then extract the residue. Banting was not knowledgeable enough about new developments in testing blood sugar to check for diabetes accurately, so he checked the urine, which was less reliable.


An illustration of Canadian scientists Frederick G. Banting and Charles H. Best in the laboratory, testing insulin on a diabetic dog, August 14, 1921.Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine - However, the idea was not new — other scientists had also tried to produce extracts from the pancreas that reduced blood sugar — nor was it particularly useful because Banting could only isolate small amounts of the hormone. Besides, the extract appeared to have toxic properties and caused severe side effects, including pain and fever in animals. Banting was no expert in the field of carbohydrate metabolism, so when he requested laboratory space and facilities from Professor John James Rickard Macleod, Head of Physiology at the University of Toronto, the esteemed physiologist was at first reluctant. However, Banting's persistence and the possibility of more reliable results persuaded MacLeod to donate laboratory space. While tying up the pancreas to make it break down was not a new investigative tool, the idea of isolating islets due to their slower degeneration was of keen interest to Macleod.


Nobody had attempted to extract islets from a fully degenerated pancreas. Banting took on an assistant, Charles Herbert Best, to help with isolating insulin. Macleod helped with the general structure of the research, and Best specialized in the chemical testing of blood to check glucose levels. The research commenced on 17th May, 1921. The aim was to ligate a dog's pancreas until it broke down and started to produce the extract of islets. This extract would then be given to other dogs without pancreases to gauge its effects on diabetes. Progress was initially slow. Banting struggled with animal surgery, and 7 of the 10 duct-tied dogs died. Banting and Best had to resort to buying potentially black-market dogs on the street for a few Canadian dollars.


On July 27th, they had finally prepared a dog with a successfully removed pancreas and a dog with tied pancreatic ducts. Three days later, the researchers froze the degenerated pancreas, ground it into a paste and filtered it, before warming it to room temperature and injecting 5 milliliters (ml) into the dog with no pancreas. Scientists took blood samples from the dog every 30 minutes and saw a temporary drop in blood sugar from 0.2 percent to 0.12 percent, The dog died the next morning due to an infection, but the scientists noted the first signs of anti-diabetic action from the extract, which they had named isletin. While many of their experiments failed, resulting in deaths of the laboratory dogs, Banting and team saw regular enough drops in blood sugar levels as a result of their extract that they were confident in the anti-diabetic properties of isletin, which would later become insulin.


Banting and Best then decided that instead of breaking down the pancreas gradually, they would use a hormone called secretin to overwork and exhaust the pancreas, in the hope that this would reduce the toxic effects while still providing the insulin. The procedure to obtain secretin was difficult and impractical but demonstrated a safer way to extract insulin from the pancreas. They also faced the challenge of trying to collect an extract of pancreatic solution without destroying the active ingredient — the substance that creates the therapeutic effect in medicine — in this case, the insulin.

Frederick Banting and Charles Best on the roof of the University of Toronto’s Medical Building in 1922. Dogs were used as experimental subjects in the insulin tests.

F. G. Banting Papers, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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The next challenge was to find a method of producing islet cells, and therefore insulin, on a mass scale, so that it would have some use as a wide-scale medicine for diabetes. Realizing that a supply of dogs for pancreas ligation was going to limit the progress of the research, Banting and Best moved on to using the pancreas of cows as source material. By adapting their processes of extracting and concentrating the solution, the scientists managed to produce a substance that contained a greater amount of the active ingredient (insulin). They then injected this extract into one of the laboratory dogs that did not have a pancreas. The dog's blood sugar dropped from 0.46 percent to 0.18 percent a massive improvement. Cost-effective and widely available, they believed that cow pancreas was their way forward.


Figure 2. Schematic of Banting and Best’s early experiments. Figure courtesy of Lorenzo Agoni, MD, MS (EJBM Staff). At this point, MacLeod diverted all other resources into supporting this research. However, tension between Banting and MacLeod was escalating, as Banting felt that MacLeod was taking credit for his work. MacLeod, on the other hand, was becoming frustrated with Banting's attitude and constant suspicion. James Bertram Collip, an established Canadian biochemist, came into the fold to work on purifying insulin. Once he had achieved a suitable level of purity, they tested it first on rabbits, then humans. However, insulin did not pass its first clinical trials.


The first test involved a 14 year old boy with severe diabetes. While the extract led to a drop in blood sugar from 0.44 percent to 0.32 percent and a small reduction in the amount of glucose excreted, an abscess developed at the site of injection and ketone levels, another indicator of diabetes, did not change. Collip worked on purifying the extract even further, and the second clinical trial, which took place on 23rd January, 1922, saw immediate and profound success. Blood sugar levels in the same 14-year-old boy reduced from 0.52 percent to 0.12 percent within 24 hours, and ketones vanished from the urine. The amount of excreted glucose dropped from 71.1 grams (g) to 8.7 g. The trial leaders repeated these significant improvements across six more patients over the next month.



On 11 January 1922 the first injection of insulin was given to Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy with diabetes by Sir Frederick Banting's team at Toronto General Hospital, Canada. From that day on, research has made incredible progress, thanks, above all, to the people that made one of the twentieth century’s greatest medical discoveries that gave hope to the people with diabetes. While all these experiments were taking place, Banting had mainly been preparing dogs for experiments and finding new ways to make insulin for mass production and had little involvement in the trials or resulting papers. Banting became desperate to gain recognition, and by late 1922 his anger and disappointment began to cause conflict. At one point, Collip threatened to leave the group without passing on his purification process. Banting reportedly came to blows with him in university halls. While many different reports still circulate about who should be given the credit for discovering insulin, it was Banting who started the wheels in motion — despite his limited experience in the field — and put together a team that developed the most significant advancement for diabetes management.


Pictured here is Frederick Banting's laboratory at the University of Toronto. In 1923, a Danish physiologist called August Kroch put forward a joint Nobel Prize nomination for Banting and MacLeod, based on Banting's idea and MacLeod's guidance. Banting was the first Nobel nominee from Canada, and a bottle of insulin now takes pride of place on the Canadian 100 dollar bill as a result. However, the Nobel committee could only award the coveted prize to between one and three people. Banting was furious on hearing about MacLeod's co-nomination, believing that Best should have been given the nomination instead, and nearly turned down the award. However, he had a change of heart and instead shared his credit and prize money with Best. When MacLeod found out, he did the same with Collip. Years later, long after Banting's death in a plane crash in 1941, the official history of the Nobel Prize publicly acknowledged Best's contribution to the development of insulin.


Banting was working for the Canadian military during the Second World War as a biological and chemical warfare researcher for the National Research Council of Canada. He had wanted to return to active service in his unit from the First World War, but he was considered too valuable a researcher to be put into combat. He was also in his late forties when the war broke out and would not have been as physically fit as he had been in his twenties. He was allowed to enlist, but was to continue his research instead of going into active service. Banting died on February 21st, 1941 as he was flying from Gander, Newfoundland to Great Britain to discuss transporting British military research  to Canada for safe keeping in case Britain fell to the Germans. 


Plaque at Banting House, 442 Adelaide Street North, London, Ontario - There were four men on board the plane that left Newfoundland including Banting and the pilot, Captain Mackey. Shortly after the plane departed, one of the engines failed as they were heading out over the Atlantic Ocean which forced Captain Mackey to shut it down and turn the plane around in an attempt to make it safely back to land. The plane’s second engine failed as they were flying over Newfoundland and Mackey attempted to bring the plane down on Seven Mile Pond (now known as Banting Lake), but the wings clipped the trees and brought the plane crashing down. Banting House NHSC has a piece of the plane on display in the Canadian Hero Gallery along with pictures of the site where they crashed. 


Before the plane went down, Mackey had told Banting and the other crew members to jump to try to save themselves, but they did not. This may be because they could not see through the darkness where the trees were or were unsure of how high up they were. Banting was also 49 years old at this time, and so jumping out of a plane probably did not seem like an attractive option to him. The radioman and navigator were killed instantly. Banting and Mackey survived the crash, but Banting was badly wounded and disoriented. Mackey went looking for help, and during the time he was away Banting wandered outside the plane and died of exposure. Three days after the crash, rescuers found the plane and Mackey, who shared what had happened. It is a testament to his character that one of the last things he did was to help bandage the wounds that Mackey had received.


Banting House London Ontario - Banting House is known as "The Birthplace of Insulin." Located at 442 Adelaide Street North in London, Ontario, Canada, it is the house Sir Frederick Banting woke up at two o'clock in the morning on October 31, 1920 with the idea that led to the discovery of Insulin. Since 1984, the house has been a museum dedicated to Banting's discovery and his life. An addition at the back houses the London & District Branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association. For many that have been touched by diabetes, the house is an emotional reminder of Banting's scientific contribution that saved their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Banting lived at the house in London for ten months, beginning in June, 1920. He attempted a private medical practice and when it was unsuccessful, he began working at the University of Western Ontario, his research for a lecture there was what inspired his 25 word idea that provided the key to discovering insulin, Banting returned to the University of Toronto to begin his research on insulin in the spring of 1921. The museum at Banting House features archival materials, artifacts, and other ephemera associated with Banting as co-discoverer of insulin, doctor, and artist, as well as his involvement in the first and second world wars.

The Great Kanto earthquake devastates Tokyo and Yokohama in 1923 leaving over 100,000 fatalities. The Great Kanto Earthquake, also sometimes called the Great Tokyo Earthquake, rocked Japan on September 1st, 1923. Actually, the city of Yokohama was hit even worse than Tokyo was, although both were devastated. It was the deadliest earthquake in Japanese history. The quake's magnitude is estimated at 7.9 to 8.2 on the Richter scale, and its epicenter was in the shallow waters of Sagami Bay, about 25 miles south of Tokyo. The offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami in the bay, which struck the island of O-shima at a height of 12 meters (39 feet), and hit the Izu and Boso Peninsulas with 6 meter (20 foot) waves. Japan's ancient capital at Kamakura, almost 40 miles from the epicenter, was inundated by a 6-meter wave that killed 300 people, and its 84-ton Great Buddha was shifted nearly a meter. The north shore of Sagami Bay rose permanently by almost two meters (six feet), and parts of the Boso Peninsula moved laterally 4 1/2 meters or 15 feet.


A view of destruction in Tokyo, seen from the top of the Imperial Hotel, which was the only hotel in the region that survived the 1923 earthquake. "A good idea of the tremendous devastation in Tokyo wrought by earthquake and fire." J.H. Messervey, from a letter dated March 5, 1924. Image of Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, after the September 1, 1923 earthquake. #

USGS/George A. Lang Collection

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The remains of the famous Maruzen bookstore located in Nihombashi district of Tokyo after fire. The Maruzen bookstores was the largest bookstore and main provider of Western and European literature in Tokyo. Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds - The total death toll from the disaster is estimated at about 142,800. The quake struck at 11:58 am, so many people were cooking lunch. In the wood-built cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, upended cooking fires and broken gas mains set off firestorms that raced through homes and offices. Fire and tremors together claimed 90 percent of the homes in Yokohama and left 60% of Tokyo's people homeless. The Taisho Emperor and Empress Teimei were on holiday in the mountains, and so escaped the disaster.

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People gathering in front of a sign posted on a bridge by a river. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds - Most horrifying of the immediate results was the fate of 38,000 to 44,000 working class Tokyo residents who fled to the open ground of the Rikugun Honjo Hifukusho, once called the Army Clothing Depot. Flames surrounded them, and at about 4:00 in the afternoon, a "fire tornado" some 300 feet tall roared through the area. Only 300 of the people gathered there survived.

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The disastrous scene in Nihombashi-ku, the center of the Imperial Capital. Men stand among debris and bodies, building frames in background. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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Collapsed Remains of the Azuma Bridge on the Sumida River. The wooden floor of the bridge burned down during the fires caused by the earthquake, leaving only the metal supports. Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds - Henry W. Kinney, an editor for Trans-Pacific Magazine who worked out of Tokyo, was in Yokohama when the disaster struck. He wrote, "Yokohama, the city of almost half a million souls, had become a vast plain of fire, or red, devouring sheets of flame which played and flickered. Here and there a remnant of a building, a few shattered walls, stood up like rocks above the expanse of flame, unrecognizable... The city was gone."

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"A good idea of the tremendous devastation in Tokyo wrought by earthquake and fire. Enclosed find a few snaps taken on the top of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo which is the only hotel in the earthquake district that survived." J.H. Messervey, letter dated March 5, 1924. Image of Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, Earthquake from September 1, 1923. #

USGS/George A. Lang Collection - The Great Kanto Earthquake sparked another horrifying result, as well. In the hours and days following, nationalist and racist rhetoric took hold across Japan. Stunned survivors of the earthquake, tsunami, and firestorm looked for an explanation, looked for a scapegoat, and the target of their fury was the ethnic Koreans living in their midst. As early as mid-afternoon on September 1, the day of the quake, reports, and rumors started that the Koreans had set the disastrous fires, that they were poisoning wells and looting ruined homes, and that they were planning to overthrow the government. Approximately 6,000 unlucky Koreans, as well as more than 700 Chinese who were mistaken for Koreans, were hacked and beaten to death with swords and bamboo rods. The police and military in many places stood by for three days, allowing vigilantes to carry out these murders, in what is now called the Korean Massacre.

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A view of the devastation in Tokyo after the 1923 earthquake and fire, seen from the top of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. In the end, the earthquake and its after effects killed well over 100,000 people. It also sparked both soul-searching and nationalism in Japan, just eight years before the nation took its first steps toward World War II, with the invasion and occupation of Manchuria.

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A view of the devastation in Tokyo after the 1923 earthquake and fire, seen from the top of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

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A man stands atop a fissured road.

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A refugee site. Perhaps a former refugee site devastated by fire, with burnt cars, tires, canisters, and pieces of debris. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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People take refuge on a Nihonbashi street in Japan in 1923. Buildings across the streets are burning and billowing smoke and flame from an earthquake that hit . #

AP Photo

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People taking refuge to Japan's countryside climb and clinch to one of few trains leaving the capital in 1923. #

AP Photo

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Congestion of refugees fleeing their homes in the Ueno vicinity in Tokyo. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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Piles of bodies and debris from a large refugee site. Remains of tires and wagons. The refugee site was most likely overcrowded and overcome by fire. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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A fallen bridge. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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In the vicinity of the badly damaged Manseibashi Train Station in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The statue of Takeo Hirose#

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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People walk in the devastated area of Yuoguku in Tokyo, Japan, after the earthquake that struck on Sept. 1, 1923. In the background is the gutted domed building Kokugikan, National Sumo Wrestling arena, in the Ryoguku district. #

AP Photo

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Fissures in the road in the Yokohama Oebashi vicinity. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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A man tries to earn some money by offering haircuts in the remains of a building. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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The Akasaka district, one of Tokyo's residential areas, lies in ruins after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 1, 1923. #

AP Photo

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Fissure in unknown road. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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Destruction of the city. #

Brown University Library/William Dana Reynolds

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Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, Earthquake September 1, 1923. "I enclose also a photo of the ruins of the Grand Hotel at Yokohama where I stopped last year." J.H. Messervey, letter dated March 5, 1924. #

USGS/George A. Lang Collection

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Many People sit on a street car railway in front of their crushed houses in Japan 1923 after an earthquake. Fortunately, this area did not suffer from fire. #

AP Photo

The Roaring 20's - Part Two
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