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Looking Back


100 Years Ago

 The year 1902 was only one hundred years ago...what a difference a century makes.

The average life expectancy in the US was 47-years.

Only 14% of the homes in the US had a bath tub.

Only 8% of the homes had a telephone. A 3-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 in France.

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 $2,000 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% 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.”

Sugar cost 4-cents a pound. Eggs were 14-cents a dozen. Coffee cost 15-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 US were [in order of frequency]: 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 yet.

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

One in ten US adults could not read or write. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drug stores. 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 all households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire US.

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Last modified:    April 2013