In a movie enactment, a well-dressed man driving his automobile, is pulled over by motorcycle policeman, who pays no attention to his explanations, and gives him a summons. The man is seen arriving at his pleasant middle class home, where he greets his wife and baby, sitting in the backyard. A street sign shows Main Street at Broadway in the small city. The image is then replaced by a New York City street sign showing Wall Street at Broadway. The message seems to be: Wall Street, New York City vs. Main Street, U.S.A.
Post-World War 1 us marked by labor-management strife, especially in the garment industry. Clothing workers are seen busy at their jobs in a factory in New York City. A man is seen symbolically closing and locking a steel door (narrative refers to a company "lockout.") View of New York City with police officers trying to maintain order as crowds fill garment district streets in protest. Montage of persons awaiting a June 1921 decision by the Supreme Court of the State of New york, Kings County. Narrator announces that Justice James C. Van Siclen, has granted an injunction (against all picketing by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America). Narrator quotes Van Siclen's opening statement in the decision: "The court must stand at all times as the representative of capital, of the captains of industry..." View of Sidney Hillman, leader of the Amalgamated union (ACWA) sitting with other union members. View of a bustling New York City street lined with tenaments and pushcarts. A man washing his face at a sink. A woman preparing a meal over a stove. Four children sharing a large bed. A gathering of idled clothing workers in a school room setting. Some in art classes. Dancers entertaining locked out workers. Young people presenting a puppet show. Narrator states that the lockout lasted 6 months, but the union prevailed. View of pleased union members.
The need to develop air power in the United States. Battleships underway at sea. Eleven bi winged single engine aircraft fly in a V formation. A line of 6 battleships in water off the coast of New England, U.S. A 1920 vintage battleship fires a salvo from its guns at the enemy. The battleships fire guns. Shore batteries fire large guns. Sailors load a deck gun. An early model submarine. The submarine submerges. Its periscope visible above water surface. Naval crafts set their depth charges and fire them. Depth charges going off in the background. A ship sinks. A United States Army Air Service ( USAAS ) Curtiss PW-8 aircraft in flight. 4 bombs fall away from the aircraft. The bombs hit and explode on USS Alabama. Smoke rises as explosions occur on the ship. A ship rolls over and sinks. A USAAS Curtiss-Martin NBS-1 bomber in flight. Two bombs fall away from the aircraft. Explosions in water. Aerial and ground shots of a ship sinking. Large guns of a battleship fire. Animation of enemy airships and aircraft flying over water towards New York. Release of the aircraft from the airships. Aircraft flying over New York City. Aerial view of skyscrapers of the city. A Curtiss- Martin NBS-1 bomber in flight. Two bombs fall toward the ground. Animation of explosions against the New York skyline. A USAAS Curtiss JN-4 aircraft in flight. A bomb falls towards the ground. Animation of bombs hitting New York City. A machine gunner in a fighter aircraft fires at another aircraft. The aircraft falls and burns. Bomb explosions in the city. An observation balloon catches fire and falls. A man in a parachute descends near the balloon. Animation of a burning city. An early model submarine cruising. A bi winged twin pontooned aircraft in flight over a group of battleships and destroyers. A group of aircraft in flight. A Fokker T-2 aircraft in flight. Animation of an airship flying over a city and tying up to a mast located on the top of a tall building. A flag of the U.S. flutters in breeze.
Documentary depicts the end of the 1920s good times in the U.S., leading into the Great Depression. Mildred Unger, age 10, performs a wing walker charleston dance while out on the wing of a JN-4 "Jenny" airplane in flight over Los Angeles in 1926.Four girls dancing on the top of a building higher than those around it, in Boston, Massachusetts. Amusement park patrons riding a roller coaster. People out driving through a park in their automobiles. Patrons enjoying themselves at the Steeplechase amusement park in Coney Island, New York. A crane piling old cars in a heap at a junk yard. But following the Wall Street crash of 1929, conditions change in America. Group of people receiving food assistance in a city. A man, woman, and baby, in a tent (probably migrant workers). The famous 1936 photo, "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange, of migrant worker, Florence Owens Thompson, with two of her children. Men receiving food from a city soup kitchen. Dejected unemployed men.
Slate indicates that 200 million gallons of gasoline are used annually in the United States for power (in 1925). View of a busy city street, possibly New York City, circa 1925 with motor vehicle traffic, pedestrians and many tall buildings. Many early automobiles seen. A worker tests flash point of kerosene. Lighted candle in stuck block of paraffin (wax) showing wax or parrafin as a byproduct of petroleum. Slate indicates that petroleum provides motor fuel, common light, a lubricant for machinery and other important by-products.
Baseball great, Babe Ruth starting to trot around the bases after hitting a home run. An inverted stunt biplane, N57323 with "EM Avery" readable on fuselage while flying inverted. A wing walker is strapped under the airplane (on top wing, now underneath). The airplane rolls over into upright position, trailing white smoke to be more easily seen by spectators on the ground. A 1920s jazz band playing in a night club. A couple and then four women, dancing the Charleston. View from car driving along New York street surrounded by nighttime illuminations. A flagpole sitter atop structure behind an RKO Keith's Advertising sign. Closeup of the man on his perch. A room full of women sewing garments in a factory. Formal dressed couples at a city supper club, where an orchestra is playing. Exhausted couples clinging to one another on dance floor during a marathon dance contest. Gangsters firing a machine gun from window of a moving car. Charles A. Lindbergh steps past a policeman, to board his Ryan monoplane, "Spirit of St.Louis,"at Roosevelt field, Long Island, New York, on May 20, 1927. View of takeoff roll. Registration number "NX-211," visible atop the right wing. Manhattan ticker tape parade welcoming Lindbergh back to New York City, following his successful solo transatlantic flight. Charles Lindbergh speaking at a microphone. Traders on floor of the New York Stock Exchange during era of frantic stock market speculation by many ordinary Americans. Labor strife at the gates of a Massey-Harris Company plant, with workers fleeing attacks by men with clubs hired by the company. Boy workers pose for a photograph While narrator mentions Child labor Act declared unconstitutional (1922). A girl worker. Boys employed as coal miners. Workers installing body panels on cars and working on engines in automobile production lines. Partially completed vehicles driving out of an automobile factory. Babe Ruth rounding third base and coming to home plate after hitting a home run in a baseball game.