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Good morning and welcome to my Sunday AM As you all know, Queen Elisabeth II passed away just a few days ago, and though most of us are very distant from the lives of kings and queens, we are influenced when a king or queen dies. However, Monarchs rarely do much - I mean inventing things, running a business, or being rock stars- still influence the countries they represent enormously. Queen Elisabeth II has served for 70 years, so maybe the only constant? This Sunday AM will take her timeline and put it in perspective. Enjoy!

BUSINESS

Four years before Queen Elizabeth II was born, the United Kingdom was officially established after Ireland decided to become a sovereign nation. Since 1801 Great Britain and Ireland were ruled as a single legal entity, ending in 1922. The first World War still influenced the times, and in 1922 the economy was still only at about 80% of the 1914 level. Almost 900,000 British soldiers were killed out of a population of about 43 million (today, 67 million). So when the little princess was born, it was a joy for the British people, and nobody knew that she would once become one of the longest-ruling regents. So what was the business like in 1926 when Elizabeth was born?

Coal was an essential industry in the UK then; in 1926, more than a million coal workers went on strike. What started among coal workers grew to a general strike. Printing, gas, electricity, building, iron, steel, chemical, bus, rail, and dock workers went on strike in solidarity. The strike was to prevent a salary decrease of 13%. 

The labor conditions and the political system were entirely different from today. The government feared communism and a growing recession. 

It was on this backdrop Queen Elizabeth II was born.

From Elizabeth was born till her death 96 years later, technology, business, communication, health, political systems, etc., has developed so much that it's almost incomprehensible.

Princess Elizabeth

TECHNOLOGY

As I wrote last week, we are going back to the moon. Rockets and space continue to amaze us, and we consider this groundbreaking. But already in 1926, Robert Goddard from Massachusets launched the first (small) rockets based on liquid fuel. Also, in 1926, M. John Baird demonstrated a machine that could wirelessly transmit moving pictures (also known as films) for the very first time. He decided to call the device a Televisor - isn't it amazing? Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard invent the Einstein Refrigerator; a final note is two inventions that have changed the world immensely. Harry Ferguson invented the Double Plow (the same guy with the tractors), and Andreas Stihl developed the electric chainsaw - and yes, that name is still significant. 

We think of our societies today as being so smart, so innovative, and if we look back, many of the companies we take for granted today were the smart, innovative disruptors back in 1926. 

And of course, the printing industry also had some milestones in 1926. In the '20s, one of the most popular printing presses was the Heidelberg Tiegel, and think of this. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen produced 100 every month, and in 1926 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen became the first German press manufacturer to introduce assembly-line production. 

Though most of the presses used in 1926 (but there were MANY printing companies) were simple compared to today, the '20s were interesting. Komori introduced a roll-based lithography machine in 1925, and many of the companies we today know as big brands were founded in the '20s.

CULTURE

Gramophone players were the choice of players in 1926, and since its invention in the late 1890s, it became a household item during the early 1920s. With the option to share music, popular music started, and in 1926, in the UK, one of the most popular songs became the song called "By the Tamarisk," performed by multiple orchestras but written by Eric Coates. He was a composer and violinist and wrote orchestras and films. Even after he died in 1957, his music has been used in box-office successes like Allied, Bronson, Churchill's Secret Agents, and more. 

But isn't it amazing to think that a pop composer in 1926 continues to be used in recent films proving that good music never dies?

Politics

The general strike was immense and was a political headache for the politicians. The King was George V, and the Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. The Ken Follet trilogy starting with "Falls of Giants," is a great read describing many different angles of the time in the '20s, but be prepared. As far as I remember, the trilogy has almost 3,000 pages - and you can't leave it when starting. Follet is known for writing very well-researched historical books - and I love them. 

As mentioned earlier, the UK was an entirely different country in 1926, with extreme differences in income, working and living conditions, and political extremes making time vulnerable for many people.

TRENDS

It isn't easy to talk about the trends of 1926. World War I influenced society, and the General Strike was about the working class fighting for their rights. Technology, as already described, gave the population new opportunities, and everything led forward. The American culture influenced music and fashion, and the '20s brought Jazz and contemporary style to the UK, which led to changes. The UK has probably always been one of the most conservative countries in Europe. Though a global superpower, the changes came slowly but surely - unfortunately leading to World War II. 

And all this was just the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's life, where she would experience wars, terrorism, and technological advantages beyond comprehension; and ending her life with deep respect from her people and gratitude for the constant she has been. 

Have a wonderful Sunday, and see you soon!

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