What a difference a century makes!

This was highlighted by an interesting set of historical statements that a friend forwarded to us recently — fascinating statistics about life in the United States a hundred years ago.

The source is not known, but these statistics certainly make for thought-provoking reading.

Back in 1905…

Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone, and a three-minute phone call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour, and 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 between1,500
and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were only 8,000 cars in the entire United States, and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 miles per hour.

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were 14 cents a dozen. Coffee was 15 cents a pound.

Ninety percent of all physicians in the United States had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

The average life expectancy in the United States was 47 years. The five leading causes of death in the nation were:

  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented.

Most American women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in 1905.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.

Two out of 10 adult Americans couldn’t read or write, and only 6 percent of Americans had graduated from high school.

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire United States.

The American flag had 45 stars — Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t yet been admitted to the Union.

In 1905, the population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30 people!

The states of Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

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