Living in 1904
Home Up Living in 1904 Living in 2004 2009 Headlines Remember? Remember More Then & Now Getting Old?


The year is 1904, one hundred years ago.  What a difference a century makes. Here are the US statistics.

  1. The average life expectancy in the US was 47.

  2. Only 14% of the homes in the US had a BATHTUB.

  3. Only 8% of the homes had a TELEPHONE.

  4. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.

  5. There were only 8,000 CARS in the US and only 144 miles of paved ROADS.

  6. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

  7. 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.

  8. The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

  9. The average wage in the US was $0.22/hour.

  10. The average US worker made between $200-$400/year.

  11. 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.

  12. More than 95% of all BIRTHS in the US took place at HOME.

  13. 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."

  14. Sugar cost $0.04/pound. Eggs were $0.14/dozen. Coffee cost $0.15/pound.

  15. Most women only washed their HAIR once a month and used BORAX or EGG YOLKS for shampoo.

  16. Canada passed a law prohibiting POOR people from entering the country for any reason.

  17. The five leading causes of death in the US were:

    Pneumonia & influenza



    Heart disease 


  18. The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

  19. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

  20. Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

  21. There were no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

  22. One in ten US adults couldn't read or write.

  23. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from HIGH SCHOOL.

  24. Coca Cola contained cocaine.

  25. 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."

  26. 18% of households in the US had at least one full-time SERVANT or domestic.

  27. There were only about 230 reported MURDERS in the entire US.


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