Forward, into the Past Featured

Written by Phil Proctor – In Funny Times March 2008

My hometown friends, George and Robert Riddle’s Mom, Blanche, was born 99 years ago, on Jan 6th and this is what it was like when she was born:

The average life expectancy was 47 years. Only 14 percent of the homes in the US had bathtubs. Only 8 percent had a telephone. A three-minute call from Denver to New York cost eleven dollars. There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit was 10 mph. 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. Las Vegas had a population of 30.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower. The average wage in the US was 22 cents an hour. The average worker made $200-$400 a year. More than 95 percent of all births in the US took place in the home. Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education…

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee was 15 cents a pound. Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo. Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet….

Ah, the Good Ol’ Daze

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