100 Years Ago
It may be hard to believe how times have
changed in the last 100 years.
"100 Years Ago"
The average life expectancy in the United States
Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States
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
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were
each more heavily populated than California. With
a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only
the twenty-first most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel
The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two
cents an hour. The average U.S. worker made
between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn
$2000 per year, a dentist $2500 per year, a
veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year,
and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the United
States 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 cost 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, either
as travelers or immigrants.
The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona,
Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska
hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
Drive-by-shootings-in which teenage boys
galloped down the street on horses and started
randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or
anything else that caught their fancy-were
an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities
in the West.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty.
The remote desert community was inhabited by
only a handful of ranchers and their families.
Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been
discovered yet. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles,
canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
One in ten U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated
from high school.
Some medical authorities warned that professional
seamstresses were apt to become sexually
aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour,
of the sewing machine's foot pedals. They
recommended slipping bromide-which was
thought to diminish sexual desire-into the
women's drinking water.
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."
Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.
Punch card data processing had recently been
developed, and early predecessors of the modern
computer were used for the first time by the
government to help compile the 1900 census.
Eighteen percent of households in the United
States had at least one full-time servant or
There were about 230 reported murders in the U.S.