What a Difference a Century Makes: 1909
By M. Callahan, The ENDEAVOR News Magazine
- The average life expectancfy was 47 years.
- Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub
- Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
- There were only 8,000 cars operating on 144 miles of paved roads.
- The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
- The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
- The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.
- The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
- A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 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 took place at HOME.
- Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as substandard.
1. Pneumonia and influenza2. Tuberculosis3. Diarrhea4. Heart disease5. Stroke
- 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 that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
- Five leading causes of death were
- The American flag had 45 stars.
- 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 10 adults couldn't read or write and 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 pharmacists said, “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 had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
- There were about 230 reported murders in the entire USA.
- 95 percent of the taxes we have now did not exist in 1909
- Kodak introduced $1 Brownie hand held cameras (1900) to the masses.
For More History Articles
Reproduction of this article in whole or in part requires the permission of the author. Unless otherwise noted, the photographs on this page are from the Library of Virginia, Wikipedia, The Library of Congress or private collections.
(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)