Sunday, October 17, 2010

Could Be Taken On A Holiday In The Year 1904

Over at Shooting Suburbia is part three of Round & Round.

Over at Flashing Georgie's Shorts, for those of you have access, is part four of Creativity Inaction.

And for those of you who don't really feel like clicking on a link to go elsewhere, which believe it or not I do from time to time, here is another gem of an e-mail from yesteryear, called:


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

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

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

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. 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 U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

The average U.S. 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 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent 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." 

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

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.


  1. Yikes! We've come a long way despite how bad we sometimes think things are. I've moved my blog and have come back over to blogger. Had a visitor I wanted to lose so..

  2. Amazing how things change, man. Great statistics.

  3. "reported" is the operative word.

  4. Interesting facts G. Those were some potent "over the counter drugs" back then :)

  5. Jeanne: Was wondering who it was that became a follower. Thanks for the heads up. Shoot me the link when you activate it.

    Anywho, we most definitely did.

    A little sports trivia: New York Highlander pitcher Jack Chesbro won an American League record 41 games that year. Also, the first time the World Series was skipped.

    Charles: Very scary when you think of it, especially when you watch those old westerns nowadays.

    Bearman: Most definitely. I'm sure you can raise that particular stat by a factor of 10 or so.

    Kelly: Some "fantastic" OTC's back then. Coca Cola with real cocaine....hmmmmm.

  6. I think number three is not just the third leading cause of death, but the third leading scariest way to die...blech

  7. Darth: I would have to agree with you on that one.

    I mean taking those multiple trips to the outhous in the middle of the night and accidently tripping and....yecch.

  8. I'm with Darth. Most of this is scary...especially the bathtub stat! But could that be related to some of the leading causes of death?

  9. Iced tea hadn't been invented. I guess because of no ice readily available.

  10. R: Gotta remember that around the turn of the century, life was hard and sanitary conditions were truly the bottom of the pits. Back then, you really could die from anything.

    Be it from bathing, exercising, work (Upton Sinclair was a good read back then), you name it, you could die from it, especially at a young age.

    Lynn: Probably the only readily available ice was what was harvested up in the mountains and rivers during the winter time and stored in rudimentary refrigerated warehouses and what not.

  11. How neat this was. And how interesting. And how unwelcoming my country was!

  12. Talon: I think back then, every country probably had a significant part of the population in poverty and simply didn't want to take any more poor people in.

  13. Very interesting post, G. My grandfather was born in 1904 and died in 1991.

  14. David: Thanks.

    It's funny how much I started remembering from my days at the library working with old newspapers when people started to comment on this post.

    I think my grandfather was born a couple of years prior to yours as he was a WWI navy vet and passed away in 1989 a few months before my wedding.

  15. Wow this is an interesting list. So cancer isn't in the 5?

  16. Joe: I would think that cancer would be in the top twenty or thirty for cause of death.

    These particular top five were mostly prevelant in the crowded cities and slums back then.


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