Wednesday, July 13, 2011

100 Years

I’ve said many times that I expect to have a 100th birthday party. I’m just over halfway there and today I was thinking about how much has changed in the world in the past 100 years. Here are a few random observations on 100 and 50 years.

100 years ago – 1911

Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii were not states yet.

Powered flight was only 8 years old.

There were no radio or television stations.

Women did not have the right to vote.

There weren’t very many cars. Cars had kerosene headlights. The 1st Indianapolis 500 was held in 1911.

The typical house did not have indoor plumbing or electricity.

50 years ago - 1951

Alaska and Hawaii were still not states.

Power steering becomes an option in some luxury cars. Turn signals were still optional on most cars. Gas was 19 cents per gallon. The interstate highway system wasn’t even thought of yet.

Computers are available commercially for the first time. They were huge, expensive and not very useful.

Television was still a fairly new thing and the typical large city had only 1 or 2 TV stations. Programs were in black and white.

Many movies were also still in black and white.

Divorce was rare and generally unacceptable in American society – the divorce rate was 2.5%. (it’s still around 50% today). Only 9% of the population lived alone (25% do today). The “typical” family was a Mom and a Dad and a few kids. Dad worked, Mom stayed at home and did all the chores and cooking and cleaning.

More homes had indoor plumbing but it was still only 64%.

There weren’t any shopping malls, at least not the kind of indoor malls we know today.

The future

Can you imagine what the world will be like in 50 years? Will we finally have flying cars? Will computers and communication devices be implants rather than appliances? Will Democrats and Republicans still be arguing over the budget? Will marriage exist? Will the earth be the only place humans inhabit?

What will you be doing in 50 years?

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