FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What a Difference a Century Makes!

When thinking about the future, it's often helpful to think about the past as well. This blog post lists some interesting statistics from the year 1905, making very clear how much our world has changed in 100 years. Among the more remarkable stats:

  • The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
  • 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.
  • Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.
  • The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
  • 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."
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30.
  • Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school.
  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.