The Belle Époque in French literally translates to the beautiful era in English. This was a time of joy and happiness right before the beginning of World War I. The Belle Époque began in 1871 and ended in 1914, which was the start of WWI (Wilde 1). It was a beautiful time for people of this era and many wonderful creations happened which tolled out and became for the better in this world. This became a happy time for middle to upper class citizens. The food heightened and so did many other things. The Belle Époque period became a time of joy right before a big war. Through new scientific advancements, art forms, and increase in women’s rights, this beautiful age shaped the French and global culture in a positive way. This period changed lives for people during this time period and made the future of the world brighter for citizens around the world by creating new opportunities and improving technologies that are widely used today.
Much scientific and technological advancement succeeded during this time period that had a great impact on today’s culture. Transportation inventions were created in France in this period such as a noiseless carriage (Belle Époque 4). The automobile was also a big invention from Germany but was only available for the rich because of the high expenses (4). Machine tools made of metal were made in better ways and a lot hardier, which were subjected to greater constraints in turbines or engines (Wilde 2). These machine tools eventually replaced the worker and advanced the machine industry. The turbine was a big innovation, which helped the electricity industry and engines in the future. Thomas Edison invented the lamp in 1879, and by 1906, the gas turbine was invented (Schiller 1). Another innovation was the bicycle. Bicycle races in France in this time started to hit an interest, which now became the Tour de France. France, during this time had inventions that impacted society greatly. The telephone was first invented followed by the telegraph and the Belinograph (Belle Époque 1). The electricity, iron, and chemical industry boomed which in turn helped make the aviation and automobile industry fly high during this time. Friedrich Schiller, a webmaster talks about this time as “it was the start of the era of the combustion engine and the mass production of steel, the machines became more efficient and more powerful, the ships bigger and their construction less expensive, the propulsion changed from the paddle to the screw, from the piston to the turbine, and their speed doubled” (1). There were so many important progressions in this era that advanced the machine industry in various significant ways. These industrial advancements helped the industries and people of the era advance in time and discover new things.
Numerous new ideas that were found were different art forms. Art thrived in this time including the big art form known as Art Nouveau. The Metropolitan Museum of Art talks about this art as, “taking inspiration from the unruly aspects of the natural word, Art Nouveau influenced art and architecture especially in the applied arts, graphic work, and illustration” (Gontar 1). Gontar also describes this as “Sinuous lines and ‘whiplash” curves’” (1). These characteristics of being curvy and squiggly were found all throughout Art Nouveau and Art Nouveau was stylized as unique and became very popular. Siegfried Bing showcased art that opened a famous art gallery (Art Nouveau 2). The artists that portrayed their work eventually became known as the Art Nouveau style and Siegfried Bing became a big factor in the development of Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau never had a name for itself before Bing opened a gallery. Art Nouveau became that name through the artists that had their work shown at Bing’s art gallery. This art designed many public places. One of the biggest designs was the design of the Paris metro line, which became a big transportation method with low prices. The entrances