Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Past 100 Years

My dad was born in 1903, the same year the Wright brothers flew their first plane off of Kill Devil Hill. He jouned the Army at 15 years old to fight in The Great War, but the war ended while he was in boot camp.

My mother was born in 1906 and she would have been 100 years old this year. One hundred years! What a difference a century makes. I found this bit of information and it sort of boggles the mind. It is some of the U.S. statistics for the year 1906:

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

Only 14% of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minuet call from Denver to New York City cost $11.00.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist, $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95% of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30 people.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Two out of every ten U.S. Adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstore. Back then pharmacist said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.” Shocking? DUH!

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

Try to imagine what it may be like for our grandkids and great-grandkids in the next 100 years.


Pamela said...

When my dad was a kid (he was born in 1900) he got to see Frank James (of the Jesse james gang) sitting in a rocker and the porch of an old house

Coffeypot said...

Pamela, wouldn’t that have been a hoot to sit on the porch and talk to him about his exploits? What amazed me is that they are teaching the stuff I lived though and was involved in history class in school. I could go to school during show and tell.

a/k/a Nadine said...

What interesting tidbits. I love reading this kind of stuff. It's hard to believe that the world can change this much in another 100 years.

katy said...

fascinating post coffeypot, just shows how much things change, wonder what changes the next hundred years will bring, and what changes would you like see happen?

Anonymous said...

That's a cool list. Lots of good and bad.

How sad that iced tea hadn't been invented yet. How on earth did they beat the heat?

Biddie said...

I often wonder about what life will be like in the next 100 years or so. My grandpa was 90 when he died a few years back, and when I think of all of the changes that he must've seen in his lifetime, it is mindblowing.

Anonymous said...

good post hun, and I wanna shout HEYYYYYYYY I AM BACK!!

Joe said...


Coffeypot said...