The average life expectancy was 47 years. (Now it is 77.8 years)
Only 14% of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars with only 144 miles of paved roads. (In the entire USA!)
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage was 22 cents per hour. (This is NOT the minimum - it is the equivalent of $4.59 an hour now)
The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year . ($4317 to $8634). The 'average' income for a family is now about $72,000. There are places in the world where the 1908 averages are the current ones.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year ($42,000), a dentist $2,500 ($52,000per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 ($31,000) and $4,000 ($83000), and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 ($104,000). The others surely have risen. Seems people do not value engineers as much. This may explain the bridge failures.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at home. The hospital was a place you went to die.
Ninety percent (90%) of all doctors had no college education. They attended 'medical schools', many of which were considered to be "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women washed their hair once a month using Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. What a culture shock for Ripess van Winkle!
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis (almost eradicated in the US - back on the rise with illegal immigration)
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was around 30. The first flowing well was finished last year. The county will be formed next year. The city will be incorporated in three years. Current population estimate 1.7 million and rising.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, & ice tea haven't been invented.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day. Christmas was finally a holiday in all states - Oklahoma just passed the law the year before.
Two out of every 10 adults could not read or write. It is worse now. About 10% simply cannot read and they know it. The bigger problem is that 13% of 17 year olds are functionally illiterate (sad because they THINK they can read). There are more college graduates that cannot read for comprehension.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. -Alvin Toffler
Illiteracy, then and now. interferes with good health care. Even if their doctor gives clear written instructions, the patient cannot read them for comprehension. The doctor will still be held responsible for the poor health though.
Only 6 % of all Americans had graduated from high school. At the present it is about 71%. White students - 78%, African-American students - 56% Latino students -54%.
Marijuana, heroin, & morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Pharmacists believed that, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach & bowels, & is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." Coca-cola was in its fifth year with the cocaine removed.
Eighteen percent (18%) of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help of some kind.