January 22, 2004

*100 Years ago

This appeared in my mail box. Ok, so it's a year old but still interesting.

YEAR OF 1903..The year is 1903, one hundred years ago... what a difference a century makes. Here are the U.S. statistics for 1903....

The average life expectancy in the US was 47.
Only 14% of the homes in the US had a BATHTUB.
Only 8% of the homes had a TELEPHONE.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.
There were only 8,000 CARS in the US 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 residents, 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 US was $0.22/hour.
The average US worker made between $200-$400/year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000/year, a dentist $2,500/year, a veterinarian between $1,500-$4,000/year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000/year.
More than 95% of all BIRTHS in the US took place at HOME.
90% of all US physicians had NO COLLEGE education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard".
Sugar cost $0.04/pound. Eggs were $0.14/dozen. Coffee cost $0.15/pound.
Most women only washed their HAIR once a month and used BORAX or EGG YOLKS for shampoo.
Canada passed a law prohibiting POOR people from entering the country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death in the US were
1. Pneumonia &influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii & Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There were no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
One in ten US adults couldn't read or write. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from HIGH SCHOOL.
Coca Cola contained cocaine.
Marijuana, heroin &morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.
According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
18% of households in the US had at least one full-time SERVANT or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported MURDERS in the entire US.

Just think what it will be like in another 100 years.

Posted by Pete at January 22, 2004 11:36 AM


Death by diarrhea. Niiiice.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 22, 2004 05:19 PM

I know. Guess who I of when I first saw it.

Posted by: Pete at January 22, 2004 07:40 PM

My great-grandmother (1893-1979) was very old-fashioned. She washed her hair with egg yolks and beer. Visiting her house was like stepping back in time. Tou flushed the toilet by pulling the chain of the waterbox set high on the wall.
Her home always smelled like freshly baked bread. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
She had a washing machine with a crank press "dryer". Oh, what I wouldn't give to smell and taste those candies she always had in a bowl in the living room.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 22, 2004 09:18 PM

Diarrhea is still a major killer in the third world, especially among children. The kids get so dehydrated that they die.

The cure is surprisingly simple - boiled water with some sugar or honey and a little bit of salt.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 22, 2004 10:39 PM

Could you have passed the 8th grade ... in 1895?
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they had
only an 8th grade education?
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA.
It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley
Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of "lie,"
"play,"' and "run."
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you
understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels
of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel,
deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy
to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for
5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which
is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849,
Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography,
etymology, syllabication.
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals,
diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions
under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi,
dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the
sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise,
blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain,
feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by
use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba,
Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the
sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
Notice that the exam took SIX HOURS to complete. It gives the saying,
"he had only an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it? Also
it shows how weak our education system has become.
Don't know about you, but I'm sure glad I didn't have to take that

Posted by: Matthew P. Christensen at January 22, 2004 11:05 PM

Have to wonder how many college grads could pass that test.

Posted by: Pete at January 23, 2004 09:07 AM

100 years ago most people lived in very rural towns and the education was geared for practical knowledge (what with bushels and pecks and dry quarts and all). Nowadays "enlightend" "teachers" want to focus not on what we need to know but on what we think I oughta feel. We used to produce doers, now we seem to try to produce tortured alieaated emotional wrestlers.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 23, 2004 11:12 PM

Do they even teach case in English classes these days?

But this test seems to be entirely lacking in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, logarithms, non-U.S. history, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, art, music, technical drawing, French, German, or metalwork, all of which I studied in the eighth grade.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 25, 2004 01:13 PM

I remember technical drawing in 9th grade. For part of our grade we had to create a basic blueprint for a house. Another part was building said house based on someone else's drawing. The model I ended up building only had 1/2 a chimney because it was only shown in 2 of the 4 elevations provided.

Posted by: Pete at January 25, 2004 01:40 PM