Friday, October 12, 2007

The Good Old Days ...

Now and then I get one of these how-it-used-to-be emails -- often from my Aunt Barbara. I thought this one was interesting -- what a difference a mere hundred years makes ...

In 1907:

The average life expectancy in the U.S. Was 47 years old.

14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

8 percent of homes had a telephone.

A three-minute phone call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

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 populated state.)

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 $2000 per year, a dentist made $2,500 per year,
a veterinarian $1,500 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent 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 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.

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.

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

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

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

Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said:

"Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

There were 230 murders report in the United States that year.

Makes you wonder what it'll be like a hundred years from now, doesn't it?


Dan Moran said...

Pretty sure I recall Twain writing about ice and American's remarkable (for the era, I suppose) consumption of it. Seems unlikely nobody got around to sticking it in tea until the 20th century.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, I kicked a little at that one, too. It was around, but apparently, it wasn't really popularized until the 1904 World's Fair.

By WWI, it was a big deal.

Bit of a stretch, from 1904 to 1907, and there were folks drinking it before then.