Monday, September 10, 2007

How Things Have Changed in a Century

It is hard for us to imagine how greatly things have changed in the US over the past few years. Yet, change is not slowing but increasing and the overload of information and change is pretty overwhelming sometimes. One of the reasons we are launching a new ministry thrust to Seasoned Believers is to develop Seasoned Communities of Practice where we can design ways to buffer ourselves against the destructive affects of change while utilizing the positive aspects of things made new.

Here are some of the U.S. Statistics for the Year 1907

The average life expectancy in the U.S. Was 47 years old.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. for the 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. (See the old car above and the roads today)

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. Had a bathtub and 8 percent had a telephone. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City Cost eleven dollars.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California . With a mere 1.4 million people, California was the 21st most populous state in the Union .

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U.S. Was 22 Cents per 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 $2,500, a veterinarian $1,500, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. Took place at home . Ninety percent of all U. S Doctors had no college education. They attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee was 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 that prohibited poor people from Entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death in the U.S. Were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet. The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet. There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 U.S. Adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school. Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

There were about 230 reported Murders in the entire U.S.A.

Before moving quickly on to a new and different blog or magazine article, think a minute about the changes that have occurred in your own life time and how they affect you and your family.

Then, imagine what massive changes will occur over the next two or three decades. How are you planning your life to make sure you are able to live a free and joyful life in the midst of the changes?


Anonymous said...


I tried answering your blog question below, but discovered I must have done something wrong since it didn’t submit. My answer however was probably not what most readers here locally would have wanted to hear. I think the church in America has grown too comfortable with the “basic” message of Christianity, and for the most part isn’t interested in penetrating too much deeper. After all, sometimes we’re faced with lessons we really won’t enjoy (John 21:18). Like your comment about spicy food, I have found that believers in other countries have an entirely different perspective on some of these “tougher” lessons. Just as their food makes you sweat, their faith makes me tremble with the realization of how bland mine is. A missionary friend wrote me yesterday to say he was considering avoiding an evangelism training seminar next month because of threats of arrests to anyone who attends. I have a hard time just convincing myself to get out of bed on Sundays, and complain that the price of gas is too high for me to drive to church. I think most of us locals would just as soon settle for a more comfortable faith, and any pastor who tried to add too much spice would soon be preaching to empty pews. Maybe it’s just a little too easy to blend into the crowd around here…..

Gary Sweeten said...

All the comments are moderated so they must com to me and I allow them to be published. Or, sometimes the blog connection shuts down and I have to wait until it is reconnected by the ISP. So, you may not have messed up at all.

I do not have any problems with your post. It is your view and that is what I am looking for. I have ministered overseas a lot of times and we in America are pretty spoiled. We cannot imagine how people lived in other eras and other lands. In some of my posts I am trying to raise awareness.

Keep on trying,

Gary Sweeten