Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on December 22, 2006 By Draginol In History

via email...


What a difference a century makes!
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1906 :

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 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 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 $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 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 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 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 ice tea
hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
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.A. !

Now I forwarded this from someone else without typing
it myself, and sent it to you and others all over the United States,
possibly the world, in a matter of seconds!

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years

on Dec 22, 2006
This is really fascinating to me as my beloved Grama Lottie was married in 1908.  Thanks!
on Dec 22, 2006
on Dec 22, 2006

Ditto on that! I can't imagine what the next 100 years will be like!
on Dec 22, 2006
ahhhhhhhh the good ol' days!! Well some of it anyway.

Egg yolks? Ewwwwwwww

Didn't see cancer on the list. So the question is what are we doing now that is bringing so much cancer to our neighborhoods? I've got three right now that have been recently diagnosed with cancer in my church but it's cropping up all over the place. Scary.

Took a lady today to radiation as I do every Friday and she said when her hair grows back she's not using hair color. anymore I guess some think the chemicals in hair color could be at least a culprit. Scary......

on Dec 22, 2006
I had a hard time finding this on Snopes, so it must be mostly accurate... here's the only nitpicks I found.

This e-mail comes out every year with a different date ("one hundred years ago, in 1902..."), so eventually inflation and stuff will put it out of date. For example, the murder rate in 1902 was 1.2 per 100,000, but in 2006 it was 3.9 per 100,000, which works out to 3120 murders in 80 million people. (In 1907 it was 4.9 -- were they just starting to collect the numbers, or were they having a serious crime wave?)

The average wage ($0.22) x 2000 hours is $440, so either the average worker was working less than full time or there's some mean-median-mode thing going on there
on Dec 23, 2006

Here are some stats I found when I was researching comparisons between wages in 1900 and current wages. These stats are from Illinois, but they do give some idea of the standard of living in 1900 (not 1906, but I doubt there was a vast difference in 6 years' time:

On the average, those Illinois families having income from the above sources earned annually from the: Working husband $620.19, Wife $114.43, Children $334.93, Boarders and lodgers $240.47, other sources $139.76. The overall average annual income for the average family of 4.91 persons was $756.63.


When you asked the question, I figured I'd go back and check the research I had already done personally to get as accurate figures as possible. I'm pretty certain of the reliability of my source.
on Dec 23, 2006
Nice link!

Statewide 1900 data shows males working an average of 290 days per year and earning an average of $553.52 annually. Females averaged 295 days and $313.42 annually.

The average person there is working more than full-time. $200 to $400 can only be the average in the sense of "median," if the median worker was working class:

For the working class employment was often a problem... Employers hired and paid on a weekly or daily basis and often shut down for several months of the year due to weather or lack of business. When the employer shut down, or a worker was sick, the worker did not get paid. Most of the income figures reported below assume year round employment, but various sources reported that the typical laborer spent at least several months of the year unemployed and without income.

That site said the Chicago Budget for 1900 set a wage for janitors of $720 (male), $540 (female). That's far above the average wage -- I guess state employees were paid well even before they got unions!
on Dec 23, 2006
That site said the Chicago Budget for 1900 set a wage for janitors of $720 (male), $540 (female). That's far above the average wage -- I guess state employees were paid well even before they got unions!


Nice link!

Thanks. Here's the article I researched the information for. I think it shows an interesting point: WWW Link
on Dec 28, 2006
What an interesting read this was - things certainly have changed. ugh outside loos and no baths yech, even worse - potties under the bed!

Today is definitely more to my liking and I just do not have the imagination to even begin thinking about what the future could be like!
on Jan 01, 2007

Didn't see cancer on the list. So the question is what are we doing now that is bringing so much cancer to our neighborhoods?

"Cancer" wasn't a term that existed back then.  They called it "consumption" and other odd things.  People used to not have any way of diagnosing most cancers (only if they could feel the tumor), so it was chalked up to "natural" death.  Considering that the average life was less than 50, and a lot of cancers don't start until then, probably most people never lived long enough to even get cancer.