"The American masses have discovered summer,"
declared a 1902 article in World's Work. "If one looks at
the United States from one ocean to the other in July and August,
he will see millions of people at play—people of every social
and financial gradation; for few are so poor as not to take at least
a short vacation." 
1903 article in World's Work offered a broad view of Americans'
expenditures on leisure during this period:
"If the cost of moving and caring for our great army of summer
migrants for one season were put into one huge sum the amount
would probably equal the capital of all the big trusts combined.
In the process of changing hands the millions are distributed
among railroads, steamboat lines, stage lines, hackmen, express
companies, hotels, boarding-houses, guides, servants and helpers
Vacations for All By
the early twentieth century, Americans of all classes were able
to enjoy some time away from work.
easily afford the expense of their summer travels. Shipping, railroads,
and real estate had made many multimillionaires in the Gilded
Upper-class families spent the summer season at fashionable
resorts such as Newport, Bar Harbor, and Saratoga Springs. Upper-class
leisure included networking with peers and engaging in public
displays of wealth.
Many middle-class Americans received a half-day's leave from work
on Saturdays. Some businesses awarded a week's vacation with pay,
others a week without pay. Many workers who received
sick leave saved these hours and added them to their regular and
holiday leave in order to take an extended vacation each year.
Some employees took extended trips to resorts, 100 to 200 miles
from home, staying in inexpensive hotels or boarding houses.  In Newport, Middle-class
leisure consisted of sightseeing, social climbing, and recreation.
Working-class families developed an interest in vacations, too,
but they worried about their ability to afford them. An article
in the Independent began with a letter from a working
man to the magazine, asking: "How shall a city family, that just
about gets around with a balance at the end of the year, and does
it by economy, get a vacation without running into debt for it?"
The author of the article advised the letter writer to take a
"simple vacation" to the country with his family. There, he could
rent a homestead, garden, fish, and most importantly, rest. Wrote
the author, "almost anyone can have a change of scene and escape
routine of toil at a trifling expense."  But an extended vacation may not have been possible for this family,
because working-class men and women typically received only one
day off per week.
Working-class individuals took day or evening trips to resorts in the summer. Working-class
leisure included various commercial amusements, including vaudeville, spectator sports, and amusement rides.
Consumption of Leisure Leisure
became a commercial industry in the late nineteenth century. Mass
production and distribution of goods demanded the development
of a market to consume those goods.
in Auto, c. 1900
Consumption of leisure, in turn, became a way of determining class
identity.  Class status largely determined the places Americans
chose to visit and the types of leisure activities they participated
Newport was one place where Americans negotiated class issues
through leisure. Like other nineteenth-century resorts, Newport
was a class-segregated community. Upper-class, middle-class, and
working-class Americans frequented separate areas of the resort.
Upper-class Americans sought to legitimate their status by engaging in various forms of conspicuous consumption. They contributed to Newport's class segregation by restricting certain areas for their own use.
Middle-class Americans sought to blur distinctions between themselves
and upper-class summer residents by emulating their dress, behavior, and leisure activities.
individuals came to Newport to observe the other classes and participate in new forms of commercialized leisure.