A hundred years have passed since 1915, and just what was life like back then?

I have recently seen two articles doing the rounds on social media (one more UK orientated, with the other very US related), and feel that it is worth sharing. I’ve chosen to reproduce the UK one, however if you’d like to see the US version, you can find it here.

1915 was the era of your parents or grandparents, and as the article says “it will make your mind boggle”! It covers everything from the wages of certain occupations, to the tallest building at the time, what percentage of houses had a bath or telephone at that time, and how much eggs and coffee cost. Did you know that service stations didn’t exist back then, so where was petrol sold? It’s really is a whole different era.

The year is 1915 “One hundred years ago”. What a difference a century makes!  Here are some statistics for the Year 1915:

 – The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
– Fuel for cars was sold in chemists only.
– Only 14 percent of the homes had a bath.
– Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
– The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
– The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
– The average British wage in 1915 was £15 per year!
– A competent accountant could expect to earn £800 per year.
– A dentist £900 per year.
– A vet between £600 and £900 per year.
– And, a mechanical engineer about £2000 per year.
– More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
– Ninety percent of all Doctors had no university education!
– Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”
– Sugar cost two pence a pound.
– Eggs were 10 pence a dozen.
– Coffee was five pence 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.
– The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhoea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
– The American flag had 45 stars.
– The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.
– Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
– There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.
– Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and, only 6 percent of all British pupils went to university.
– Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner chemists.
– Back then chemists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!” (Shocking?)
– Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help …
– There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.! In 2014 this figure had risen to 14,249.
– In the UK the murder rate in 1915 was 1420. In 2015 it was 537. (Perhaps we are doing something right!)
[copied from the Seniors Travel Newsletter, December 2015]


Can you imagine what it may be like in another 100 years? And have you thought of writing your own version “what life was like in 2015”? Go ahead, do it … you know it would be great for your descendants and others in years to come.