Living in the Past: Then and Now | The Year 1903
Living in the Past: Then & Now
By: Candice Clarke
You have a big date this Saturday. Thank goodness Friday is
payday! Every weekend it seems like dating puts a large dent
in your wallet. A movie with popcorn and soda alone costs at
least $30 these days (This was written in 2003, it costs more now!). Not to mention a bouquet of flowers or
filling your tank to pick your date up in style. Have you ever
wondered how the cost of dating has progressed over the years?
Keep reading and check out the progression of costs over the
1927 - Charles Lindbergh has taken flight and the Yankees have
defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. Robert
and Mary have been "courting" for a few weeks now.
He sent her a love letter with a two-cent stamp and bought her
a new jazz record for 39 cents. Last Saturday they danced the
night away at the ballroom after paying the $1 entrance fee.
They won their money back and then some when they won $10 in
the dance contest. Tonight they are planning on attending the
first "talkie" film ever, The Jazz Singer starring
Al Jolson, for 40 cents each. For such a big event Robert bought
himself a new suit for $15.85 and Mary a $40 raccoon coat.
1952 - Television is all the rage, but right now they cost
an expensive $99. The price is worth it to see Jackie Gleason
and The Honeymooners. James saved up money from his summer painting
job where he makes $15/day. He just bought a 1950 Ford Convertible
for $1,400 and is planning on picking Linda up tonight to see
the new musical, Singin' in the Rain. Linda was just paid $50
for the week as a counter girl and spent $17 on a new dress
and shoes for their date tonight. James has the Ford filled
with gas (42 cents/gallon), bought a pack of cigarettes for
a quarter, and is ready to spend five dollars at the theatre
so Linda can also get some popcorn.
1977 - It's been a monumental year. Elvis Presley died and
Roots was shown on television. Things have also become a little
more expensive. Stamps have shot up to 13 cents and gas is now
$2/gallon. Michael is studying to be an accountant so he can
make a hefty $15,000/year. His girlfriend, Jennifer, is working
as a typist. She brings home close to $120 each week, which
helps with their rent of $185 a month. Times have changed and
they are happy that they can live together without causing too
much of a fuss. Money is tight, but they were able to splurge
$3 on movie tickets to see the new blockbusters, Saturday Night
Fever and Star Wars.
This is interesting. Didn't realize the last
100+ years made such a difference.
THE YEAR 1903
It's 2003 (added in 2003) - Bob Hope just died at the age of
100. It's time to revisit where we
were a century ago. This ought to boggle your mind.
The year is 1903, one hundred plus years ago...
what a difference a century makes. Here are the U. S. statistics for 1903....
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47.
Only 14% of the homes in the U.S. 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 U.S. and only
144 miles of paved ROADS.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were
each more heavily
populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents,
was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the
The average wage in the U.S. 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
engineer about $5,000/year.
More than 95% of all BIRTHS in the U.S. took
place at HOME.
90% of all U.S. physicians had NO COLLEGE education.
attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the
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
1. Pneumonia & influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma,
Hawaii and 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 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from
Coca Cola actually contained cocaine.
Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available
over the counter
at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin
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 U.S. had at least one
full-time SERVANT or
There were only about 230 reported MURDERS
in the entire US.
Just think what it will be like in another
It boggles the mind.
Added December 17, 2003, Addition (top) September 17, 2004
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