Gay Nineties

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Gay Nineties is an American nostalgic term that refers to the decade of the 1890s. It is known in the UK as the Naughty Nineties, and refers there to the decade of supposedly decadent art by Aubrey Beardsley, the witty plays and trial of Oscar Wilde, society scandals and the beginning of the suffragette movement.

The term, Gay Nineties, itself began to be used in the 1920s in the USA and is believed to have been created by the artist Richard V. Culter, who first released a series of drawings in Life magazine entitled "the Gay Nineties" and later published a book of drawings with the same name.Culter,Richard (1928). The Gay Nineties, An Album of Reminiscent Drawings, Doubleday, Doran & Company,Inc. The high life of the "old money" families was well documented in the novels of, for example, Edith Wharton, and Booth Tarkington.

By the 1920s, the decade was nostalgically seen as a period of Pre-Income Tax wealth for a newly emergent "society set". The railroads, the agricultural depression of the Southern United States, and the dominance of the United States in South American markets and the Caribbean meant that industrialists of New England seemed to have been doing very well.

It was also the name of a nostalgic radio program in the 1930s, hosted by a prominent composer of popular songs of the 1890s, Joe Howard. In the 1920s through the 1960s, filmmakers had a nostalgic interest in the 1890s, as can...
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