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brian.cunningham
12-08-2004, 12:15 AM
Maybe this will boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1904 ... one hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some of the US statistics for 1904:

The average life expectancy in the US was 47 years.

Only 14% of the homes in the US had a bathtub.

Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.

A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.00

There were only 8,000 cars in the US,

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 residents, 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 US was 22 cents an 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.

A mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the US
took place at home.

Ninety % of all US physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by 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 prohibiting poor people

from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the US 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 30!

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

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

Two of 10 US adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 % of all Americans had graduated high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." (Shocking!)

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

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire US

And I forwarded this from someone else without typing it myself, and sent it to you in a matter of seconds! Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years

... it boggles the mind.

John B
12-08-2004, 12:28 AM
Too late.
Mine is already boggled.

I went to a boats 100th birthday 2 weeks ago. Ngatira.and Waione is 97. When you consider how well they go, sailing hasn't advanced exponentially like the rest of technology. Which sort of points to how advanced that particular technology was I suppose.

[ 12-08-2004, 01:29 AM: Message edited by: John B ]

Ken Hutchins
12-08-2004, 08:14 AM
An article in a 1885 copy of the Brooklyn Dailey Eagle (NY) tells of a doctor who left pigeons with his patients. If they needed the doctor they could attach a note to the leg of the bird and release it. The bird would fly back to the doctor with the message. Ah Ha, the first cell phones! :D

Phillip Allen
12-08-2004, 07:37 PM
In 1904 my future grandfather was 39 years old. My mother would be born in four years, my father in five. General Picket was still living as was Black Elk. Villa was four years from raiding Texas and Lefty hadn't learned to sing the blues. At West Point, future officers were taught to kill with sabers and rapiers...soldiers were using the Krag-Jorgensen rifles (Caliber .30-US Government cartrige); the rifles which replaced the rifles Custer was carrying at the battle of the Greasy Grass.

ion barnes
12-09-2004, 10:05 PM
Brian, to complete the circle, we should restate the stats as of today. Scary stuff!

J. Dillon
12-09-2004, 10:26 PM
Ahh the good ole days. ;)

JD

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-10-2004, 03:07 AM
Very interesting.

My father was one year old; in 1916, aged 13, he almost died from diptheria. His father and elder brother were at the Front.

Roger Cumming
12-10-2004, 11:03 PM
The IRT subway which serves my neighborhood in Manhattan, and on which I have spent a good portion of the last 34 years, was completed.

Victor
12-11-2004, 08:41 AM
Sometimes I wonder whether we're really living better today. Sure we could get places faster and do things faster, but is that progress? In 1904 you could go from San Francisco to London in luxury and style, in about two weeks, and no one could get you on your cell phone.

George Jung
12-11-2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Victor:
Sometimes I wonder whether we're really living better today. Sure we could get places faster and do things faster, but is that progress? In 1904 you could go from San Francisco to London in luxury and style, in about two weeks, and no one could get you on your cell phone.Victor, I agree completely. Living in a kinder, slower paced, gentler time certainly sounds appealing. There's just this one kicker:

The average life expectancy in the US was 47 years.
Heck, a lot of the folks here wouldn't be around, given that scenario.

Victor
12-11-2004, 11:12 AM
That statistic is a little misleading if it includes the high rate of infant mortality. Anyone who made it to 5 could reasonably expect to live a lot longer than 47 years, I think.

Phillip Allen
12-11-2004, 11:19 AM
There is a three acre cemetary behind my house. My aunt who remembers before so many stones were stolen to use for building (long story involving local luminary who new he was untouchable) and says many, many were children. Those who made it past their second summer seemed to fair okay. The dates on the stones were from the early 1800's to the early 1900's.

ahp
12-11-2004, 12:36 PM
I question the annual salary of a mechical engineer being $5000 per year in 1904. When I graduated from the University of Michigan in 1955 the standard offer to a new engineering graduate was $4800 per year. I got $5500 because I had an MS as well.

Dan McCosh
12-11-2004, 02:06 PM
I was going to say that my father, who was born about that time, managed to outlive the "expectancy" by about 30 years. Also, he was a mechanical engineer, and wasn't making anything like that in the 1930s when he graduated. likewise a dentist--how could you make 20X your patients' income? In 1904, the difference in pay between average workers and the seriously rich was only about 5x--a condition that lasted through the mid-1950s.

George.
12-11-2004, 02:12 PM
In 450 B.C., in democratic states (OK, not too many of those around back then, but bear with me), the difference in income between the poor and the rich, slaves not included, was about two and a half times. The widening income gap is one of the more persistent and troublesome trends of modern times, and no one seems to worry much about it, let alone suggest anything effective to address it.

seafox
12-11-2004, 04:54 PM
if you check in at the inflation calculators on the web ( also known as cost of living calculators) you would find the real value of money in 1904 and 1950 was about the same, around .50 of the standard 1967 dollor today you have to have 5.5 times ( or a little more I havn't checked it in the last year or so) the cash to equel the value of the 1967 doller.
the low was durring the 1930s when it went to about .22

I for one wish we had exactly the same law book today as in 1904 if we did this country would be a whole lot more free. the goverment much smaller and less intrusive and every thing that was wrong from murder to theft to force and fraud could still be procucuted.
jeffery

rbgarr
12-11-2004, 05:19 PM
Let's bring back the days of wife selling!
http://www.ontalink.com/history/18th_century/regions/British/wife_selling.html

Stiletto
12-11-2004, 05:40 PM
These days a lease might be better. :D

Jack Heinlen
12-11-2004, 05:50 PM
That statistic is a little misleading if it includes the high rate of infant mortality. Anyone who made it to 5 could reasonably expect to live a lot longer than 47 years, I think. This is a very salient point. Walking around the 18th and early 19th century graveyards, it's amazing how many patriarchs there are. They lived into their eighties and nineties, and often have two or three wives buried beside them.

ahp
12-11-2004, 08:19 PM
J P Morgan, who was not the easiest person to deal with, had a standing rule. In any corporation that he controlled the ratio of compensation between the lowest ranking worker and the CEO shall not exceed 20X.

Ross M
12-11-2004, 08:30 PM
I believe Ben & Jerry's has (or had) a similar policy, although I believe it was a somewhat lower ratio.

Ross

Norske3
12-12-2004, 04:30 AM
Old days: hard (shoveling coal into the furnace) but simple (no income taxes papers).

New days: simple ( flip the oil burner switch) but hard (dozens of income tax papers).

Victor
12-12-2004, 06:49 AM
But if you went out drinking on a snowy night your horse would take you home. tongue.gif