THE ROARING TWENTIES
Production Line BoatsGarﬁeld Wood never intended to go into the boat building business. His goal was to personally set every speed record on water and be recognized as the world’s speedboat king. However, the Liberty aircraft engine of World War I would play a signiﬁcant role for Wood in the building of the world’s ﬁnest recreational sport boats. In 1921, Wood purchased a railcar load of Liberty engines from the government and designed the Baby Gar runabout as a suitable boat for his marine engine conversions. In 1924 Wood began regular production of the Baby Gar as a 33-foot style runabout. He sold all he could build.
Chris Smith and his four sons established the Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company in 1922. Production averaged one power boat and one rowboat per week. By 1925, production had grown to a boat and a half produced per day on their newly introduced 22 foot runabout. This rate was accomplished by employing in-line production in which lines were established so that men with individual specialties would contribute to the product at a regulated point in the process. Standard keels, frames, stringers, rails and decking were made using precise templates so that each boat being produced would be as identical to the next as possible.
WaterskiingWaterskiing was born on June 28, 1922 on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. Ralph Samuelson was quoted as saying, “If you could ski on snow, you could ski on water”.
Rum RunningThe Volstead Act of 1919 and the 18th Amendment had ushered in a period of lawlessness as the government attempted to staunch the ﬂow of now-prohibited alcoholic beverages into the United States. Ships carrying all manner of distilled alcoholic beverages lay offshore, just beyond the territorial boundaries of the US. Their product was carried ashore by ‘rum runners’, super-fast boats which ran the pickets of the US Coast Guard and other enforcement entities. It is said that some shipments were worth $200,000 at a time when $50 was considered a good weekly wage.
Average Salary: $1244/Yr
New House: $7,720
New Car: $398
Quart of Milk: 13¢
Gold per ounce: $20.67