Students learn that economic forces have an impact beyond the financial world. First, they learn that Progressive Era public health reforms inspired a commercial response to the growing demand for sanitation through the rapid increase in bathroom-fixture production. Students then use FRED, economic data from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, to analyze how bathroom-fixture production changed throughout the 1920s. They examine primary documents—1920s advertising—to see how companies fused the Progressive Era with the new consumer culture. Finally, students complete the lesson by responding to AP U.S. History-style short-answer questions.
This lesson plan is designed for teaching grades 10, 11, and 12.