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Here are some statistics for the Year 1910:
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The average life expectancy for men was 47 years. This was partly due to the many deaths from industrial and farm accidents.Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub. Average folks took their bath in a washtub in the kitchen, which is where the hot water was.... on the woodfired stove! Modesty required that a sheet was draped around the 'bathing area', or sometimes it was draped over the tub itself. If you were single you probably lived in a boarding house and shared a bathroom with all the other residents.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. (Guess which 8% that was!) and you had to 'ring' the operator to place a call - area codes came much later!
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads. Fuel for a car was sold in drug stores only.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph, and most folks still got around on horses.BUT, if the family owned a car, it was the focus of any family portrait...
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
England's King Edward VII died that year, marking the official end of the 'Edwardian Era'.
The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour. Child laborers made 3 cents an hour. City children were expected to leave school by age 12 to help support the family. Rural children stayed out of school during planting time and harvest to help in the fields.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year, and the average workday was 12 hrs. There was no such thing as 'overtime' pay, either!
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. My great grandma was a midwife - after the birth, the midwife stayed on for up to a month until the new mother was back on her feet, or until another mother went into labor and needed her services. Remember, there wasn't much info available about birth control, either! Chances were good that there would be an annual visit by the midwife ...and again, most birthing was actually done in the kitchen, because that's where the stove was. Houses didn't have central heating, and the bedrooms would usually be too cold.
Nursing schools were in hospitals. 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.' However, doctors did make house calls - they often didn't even have offices!
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. (and there were no inspection standards at the time - they were 'candled' to check for freshness; a growing chick in the egg would show as a shadow when you held the egg up to the light of a candle.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound, and you took the beans home and roasted/ground them yourself.
Most women only washed their hair once a month (or less), and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The Five leading causes of death were:
- Pneumonia and influenza
- Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars .... (There may have been only 45 stars on the flag but there were 46 states.)
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet. Iced anything was rare, as ice was delivered on a wagon, packed in sawdust if you lived in a city. It had probably been cut from a local river the previous winter and stored in an 'icehouse' until it was needed in Summer to keep the 'ice box' cool. Most folks didn't have refrigerators, either! Would you drink tea with river water in it?
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.... and there were no paid holidays!
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school....and those who did were considered qualified to TEACH!!!
Most folks could do basic math though.Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help ... room and board were considered most of their wages.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !
...and home sewing was done on a treadle (self-propelled) sewing machine!
Corsets went from having unnaturally tiny waists to a 'natural' waist. My great grandma wore a corset until the 1970's - but she NEVER called it a corset! undies were really unmentionable, remember? no - they were referred to as 'stays' if referred to at all! and they were expensive, too, so a lady only could afford one, and she wore it all the time - even when doing the spring cleaning, or playing tennis!
She taught me to sew on a treadle sewing machine - and taught me how to maintain it and change the belt, which turned the wheel, which moved when you rocked the foot 'rest'. I learned curved piecing on the treadle, as well as how to piece a Bethlehem Star which was all cut with scissors from a cardboard template cut with a razor blade from a cereal box. Cotton fabric was 36" wide and cost $0.39 a yard, or 3 yards for a dollar the year she taught me to sew.
To commemorate the education (and a lot of great stories) my great grandma instilled in me I am giving away a FREE CLASS of your choice at Quilting Weekly - winner will be drawn at random from everyone who posts a response to this blog post. There are 18 classes to choose from and even a free lesson!
deadline for giveaway posting is August 31, 2010
Do you have a great memory from your great grandma?... and if you still have a great grandma - give her a hug from me!but remember to leave a comment before you go - 8-)