This brief retrospective came across my screen recently. It can be profoundly sobering to see how much life has changed over the past 100 years. Such rapid change is unprecedented in human history, or almost any history that comes to mind.
The agricultural revolution ( Neolithic period, roughly 10,000 BC) allowed technological evolution to occur at what appears to be an exponential rate.
Harnessing electricity has kicked that rate of change into an even higher gear. And, I expect we’ve only seen the beginning. It’s going to be a wild ride. See And Then There Was Fire for more on this weird and wonderful era in which we line. But first, take a look at recent times in this rear view mirror and ponder…
Some statistics for the year is 1915
Only one hundred years ago!
- The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
- Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
- Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
- Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
- The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
- The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
- The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
- The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
- A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 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 percent of all births took place at home …
- Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
- Instead, they attended so-called medical schools
- 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.
- The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
- The American flag had 45 stars.
- The population of Las Vegas , Nevada was only 30.
- Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
- There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.
- Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write
- And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
- Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.
- Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!” (Oh my!)
- Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help…
- There were about 230 ‘reported’ murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !
“I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD all in a matter of seconds!
It is impossible to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.”