Vol. 15, No. 32, February 3, 2003
Back in 1902 – A Hundred Years Ago
- The average life expectancy in the US was 47.
- Only 14 percent of the homes in the US had a bathtub.
- Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
- A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.00.
- 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 22 cents an hour.
- The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
- A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 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 in the US took place at home.
- Ninety percent 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 4 cents a pound; eggs were 14 cents a dozen; coffee cost 15 cents a 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:
Pneumonia and influenza
- The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
- The population of Las Vegas was 30.
- Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
- There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
- One in ten US adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
- Marijuana, heroin, and 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."
- Eighteen percent 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.
A backward poet writes inverse.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft, and I'll show you a flat minor.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a medium at large.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.
Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
The poor guy fell into a glass grinding machine and made a spectacle of himself.