America in 1904:
What a Difference a Century Makes!
By: Dr. Joseph Mercola
It's amazing how much, and how little, things
change over time.
Take a look at America a shade over a century ago
(1904) based on a series of one-line statistics shared during a history lecture
at the University of California, Berkeley:
- The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years old.
- Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
- Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
- A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost only $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 10 mph.
- Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California; with a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
- The Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world.
- The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
- The average U.S. worker made between $200-$400 a year.
- A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 a year; a dentist $2,500 a year; a veterinarian between $1,500-$4,000 a year; and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 a year.
- More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
- Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians didn't have a college education; instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."
- Sugar cost 4 cents a pound (and less than 6 pounds per year were consumed per person on average in processed foods or drinks); eggs were 14 cents a dozen; coffee cost 15 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.
- The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
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 iced tea hadn't been invented.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
One in 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans were high school graduates.
Coca Cola contained cocaine.
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."
Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.
- Pneumonia and influenza
- Heart disease
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
The most eye-catching statistic I noticed from the above article
was that the life expectancy 100 years ago is nearly half of what
it is today. The average age of death in the United States is currently
at an all-time high of
77.6 years. You might be tempted to believe that our health
care system is largely responsible for this. You might even be naïve
enough to believe that vaccines are responsible for this increased
Well, if you believe that you have been fooled.
Fooled BIG TIME.
The system has you right where they want you. The increase in
longevity is not due to vaccines; it is due to the massive improvements
in our hygiene that have been made possible by modern technology.
We are now able to remove human waste and prevent the spread
of illness. We also have central heating and air conditioning that
radically improves our ability to resist infections. These are far
more responsible for increasing our lifespan than any vaccine ever
was or will be.
The incidence of all of these infectious diseases was dropping
very rapidly, starting in the 1930s. After World War II, the incidence
continued to drop as living conditions improved. Clean water, central
heating, the ability to bring oranges from Florida to the north
in February so the children could get vitamin C--these are the factors
that really affected people's tendencies to come down with infectious
diseases much more than vaccines.
Most of us are clueless about the benefits of central heating.
For Y2K preparation in 1999, I lived in my home for a few weeks
with a wood-burning stove. What a lesson. The wood would only last
a few hours before burning out and needing to be replaced. Having
a reliable, relatively inexpensive and consistent source of heat
is a profound health benefit that few of us truly appreciate.
I am also very grateful to have access to the best trauma care
ever known in the world. This certainly helps increase our lifespan,
but it is a relatively minor, even nearly insignificant, contribution
to life expectancy. Of course, it is a major increase for the few
who are affected, but that is just it--most of us do not die from
acute trauma. We die long, slow deaths from chronic degenerative