So! How about them good old days?

Here’s some good news and some bad news. Americans’ average life expectancy is currently around 78.0 years. It’s higher for women but lower for men. The bad news is that, according to, we’re 44th on a list of 220 covered countries.

Medical Science has come a long way over the past 100-years. In 1907 over ninety percent of all United States physicians had no college education and some had never attended a medical school. Medical schools were thought to be substandard.

The five leading causes of death were (in order from first to last): Pneumonia and influenza, Tuberculosis, Diarrhea, Heart Disease, and Stroke. The five leading causes of death today are (same order as above): Heart disease, Cancer, Stroke, Pneumonia, and Accident/Suicide.

Diarrhea is no longer on the list. Thank God for Imodium AD! When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. As life-saving as this stuff is, the last cause of death on the list indicates that more and more people don’t care and just want to check the hell out of here.

Here’s a complete list of how it was in 1907. I don’t know who compiled it, though. Have a look, anyway. I have verified it against other legitimate list and it seems consistent with them.

  • The average life expectancy in the United States was forty-seven.
  • Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.
  • Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
  • There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was ten mph.
  • Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the twenty-first most populous state in the Union.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
  • The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two cents an hour. The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2500 per year, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home.
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound.
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
  • Coffee cost fifteen 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, either as travelers or immigrants.
  • The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
  • Drive-by-shootings, in which teenage boys galloped down the street on horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or anything else that caught their fancy, were an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities in the West.
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty. The remote desert community was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their families.
  • Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
  • There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
  • One in ten U.S. adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Some medical authorities warned that professional seamstresses were apt to become sexually aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour, of the sewing machine's foot pedals. They recommended slipping bromide, which was thought to diminish sexual desire,into the woman's drinking water.
  • 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.
  • Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.
  • Punch card data processing had recently been developed, and early predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by the government to help compile the 1900 census.
  • Eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the NEXT one hundred years assuming, of course, that we don’t extinguish our species with some of the stupidity we are currently involved with.

Another point worth noting is this. Progress, from generation to generation, usually occurs at an ever-increasing rate because of technological advances. It took humans about 200-years to go from horse speed to Voyager-1 space probe speed (about 38,000 miles per hour).

I wonder how long it will take us to get to some meaningful percentage of light-speed (around 50%). I won’t be around to see it, but some of you might be provided you tame some of your excesses and always make you to have some Imodium AD on hand!

Next week… same time, same channel.

Joseph Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. Copyright laws apply to all material on this site. Send your comments. Just click here.

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