- Aug 11, 2005
The year is 1905 -- one hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the year 1905: 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. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars. There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads in the U.S. 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 people, 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 per 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. doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended so-called 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 washed their hair only once a month, and they used borax or egg yolks for shampoo. Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason. 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 only 30! Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet. There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day. Two out of every ten U.S. 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 the local corner drugstores. Back then a pharmacist said, "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 U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help. There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S. Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years! - - - Don't know if this was humor, but it sure was entertaining !! P.B.