Mahjong: An Ancient Chinese Game that Became a Roaring Twenties Fad

By Karen Harris
Beach and bathing scenes American women playing mah-jongg in the water - 1924 - Vintage property of ullstein bild. Source: (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The 1920s saw the rise of several entertainment fads. Radio and magazines with national distribution helped to introduce fad trends to the farthest reaches of the United States. One such fad, however, traces its origins to faraway China and its roots go back several centuries. The ancient Chinese game of Mahjong swept through the U.S. in the twenties and spawned an interesting all things Chinese.