One Hundred Years Ago…

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

  • 40% of the population lived or worked on farms.

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

  • Only eight percent of the homes had a telephone.

  • A three-minute 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, which, with a mere 1.4 million people, was ranked 21st.

  • The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour. The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

  • A competent accountant earned about $2000 per year; a dentist $2,500, a veterinarian $1,500, and a mechanical engineer perhaps $5,000.

  • More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home (I was born at home even in 1933 –Ed.).

  • Ninety percent of all U.S. medical doctors had no college education.

  • 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.

  • The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were: pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke.

  • The American flag had 46 stars. Oklahoma was admitted  late in the year, but New Mexico (1912), Arizona (1912), Hawaii (1959), and Alaska (1959) were still territories.

  • 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 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.

  • In Los Angeles, if you spoke Spanish in your home, you would be called a “cholo” by your “gringo” neighbors.

  • Only six percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.

  • Bullock's opened in March in Los Angeles, and Neiman-Marcus opened in September in Dallas.

  • U.S. automobile production reached 43,000, up from 25,000 in 1905.

  • Milwaukee toolmaker William A. Davidson quit his foreman’s job to join his brothers Arthur and Walter at the four-year-old Harley-Davidson Motor Co., and the firm was incorporated  in September.

  • Britain and Ireland had 23,100 miles of operating railway, Canada had 22,400, the United States 237,000.

  • Alois Alzheimer (b. Germany, June 14, 1864, d. December 19, 1915) describes the pathology that in 1910 is given the name Alzheimer's disease.