Growing Up | Test of Time | A Hundred Plus Years Ago
Most of you should appreciate this...some won't have
a clue what it's all about! But should find this interesting!
According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those
of us who were kids in the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's probably shouldn't
Our baby cots were covered with brightly colored lead-based
paint, which was promptly chewed and licked.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches
on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.
When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip
flops and fluorescent 'clackers' on our wheels.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts
or air bags. Riding in the passenger seat was a treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a
bottle - tasted the same.
We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding
and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because
we were always outside playing.
We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle
or can and no one actually died from this.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps
and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the
brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned
to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day,
as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach
us all day and no one minded.
We did not have Play Stations or X-Boxes, or Wiis, no video
games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround
sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, and no Internet chat
rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them.
We played elastics and street rounders, and sometimes
that ball really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth,
and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do
the same thing again.
We had fights, punched each other hard and got black
and blue - we learned to get over it.
We walked to friend's homes.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate
live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have
very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.
We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.The
idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law. Imagine that!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers
and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been
an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success
and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
And you're one of them. Congratulations!
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Test of Time
History Exam (Don't peek at the answers 'till you try it).
1. In the 1940s, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?
a. On the floor shift knob
b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch
c. Next to the horn
2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it. For
what was it used?
a. Capture lightning bugs
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing
c. Large salt shaker
3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?
a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze,
expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.
4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?
5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings
when none were available due to rationing during W.W.II?
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks
6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't
tell whether it was coming or going?
b. Nash Metro
7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
a. Strips of dried peanut butter
b. Chocolate licorice bars
c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside
8. How was Butch wax used?
a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing
c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust
9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached
to your shoes?
a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot
c. Long pieces of twine
10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?
a. Consider all the facts
b. Ask Mom
11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940's?
12. "I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey"
13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pet pony?
a. Old Blue
14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?
a. Part of the game of hide and seek
b. What you did when your Mom called you in to do chores
c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in
a A-bomb drill.
15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on the Howdy Doody show?
a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajewea
c. Princess Moonshadow
16. What did all the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests
were handed out in school?
a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid your failure
17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?
a. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs, which tasted like
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos
18. Praise the Lord, and pass the _________?
19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song "Cabdriver"
a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires
20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?
a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin
Keep going \/
1. b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand controls, popular
in Europe, took till the late '60s to catch on.
2. b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?
3. c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the
4. a) Blackjack Gum.
5. b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the
back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.
6. a) 1946 Studebaker.
7. c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.
8. a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.
9. a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring
around your neck.
10. c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.
11. c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies
and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread
of the disease.
12.. b) Taxi. Better be ready by half-past eight!
13. c) Macaroni.
14. c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms
in an A- bomb
15. a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.
16. a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.
17. b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household
items at the Green Stamp store.
18. c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.
19. a) The all male, all black group: The Inkspots.
20. a) Tony Bennett, and he sounds just as good today.
17- 20 correct: You are not only older than dirt, but obviously gifted
with mind bloat. Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely
12 -16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind is definitely muddy.
0 -11 correct: You are a sad excuse for a geezer or you are younger
Send this to your friends with your score in the subject line!
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A Hundred Years
Ago (well more than a hundred years ago; this was written in 2000)
From a book called "When My Grandmother Was a
Child" by Leigh W. Rutledge, which begins, "In the summer of 1900,
when my grandmother was a child...")
- The average life expectancy in the United States was
- Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had
- 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
- The average wage in the US was twenty-two cents an
hour. The average US 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.
- 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 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 five leading causes of death in the US were: 1.
Pneumonia and influenza, 2. Tuberculosis, 3. Diarrhea, 4. Heart disease, 5.
- 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
- 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 US 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 women's drinking
- 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.
- There were about 230 reported murders in the US
Growing Up | Test of Time | A Hundred Plus Years Ago
Added February 12, 2000
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