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(Other types of workplaces would soon follow suit.) Vacations began to be regularly offered to workers, although they were usually unpaid ones.The monotony of specialized industrial work and the crowding of urban expansion also created a desire in the worker to have leisure time away from his or her job and away from the bustle of the city.
The Progressive movement was another factor which contributed to the increased value of leisure time for workers, as their health and well-being received more attention.
Yet another factor was the installation of electric lighting in the city streets, which made nighttime leisure activities less dangerous for both sexes.
The period from 1894 to 1915 was one in which workers in the United States began to have more leisure time than their predecessors.
One reason for this was that industrial employers began to decrease working hours and institute a Saturday half-day holiday, which gave workers more free time for leisure activities.
Initially the movies were novelties in kinetoscope viewers, until they became acts in their own right on the vaudeville stage.
As motion pictures became longer, they moved into storefront Nickelodeon theaters and then into even larger theaters.
Amusement parks opened in places like Coney Island, New York, founded in 1897, offering rides, fun houses, scenes from foreign life, and the latest technological breakthroughs, such as motion pictures.
National parks were created by the federal government to preserve nature and many began to tour these areas on vacation. cities offered Americans a chance to "tour the world" in one place.
While initially only the wealthy could partake of most sporting events, the opening of publicly available gymnasiums, courts, and fields allowed the working and middle classes to participate also.
Athletic clubs such as the New York Athletic Club were organized and the YMCAs began to institute sports programs.