The year is 1902, one hundred years ago. . . .What a difference a century makes . . . .
- The average life expectancy in the US was forty-seven.
- Only 14 percent of the homes in the US had a bathtub.
- Only 8 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 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.
- Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.
- Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
- 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, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
- More the 95 percent of all births in the US took place at home.
- Ninety percent 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”.
- 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 were no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day nor “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- One in ten US adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from 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 the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”
- Eighteen percent of households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
- There were about 230 reported murders in the US.
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