These were the children who lived 'THE GOOD OLD DAYS'.

This is a photo of Frontier Schoolmistress, Blanche La Mont standing proudly with her students in Hecla, Montana. Often these Frontier teachers were only a little older than some of their students. Many of them faced the Herculean challenge of being the only conduit of education in a new and expanding nation.

We received an amazing E-mail from Len Walderich yesterday; he writes,
“This ought to boggle your mind, I know it did mine.”

The year is 1900, [100+7] years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are the U.S. statistics for 1900:

*Average life expectancy in the U.S. was forty-seven years.

* Only 14 percent of homes had bathtubs.

*Only 8 percent had a telephone.

*It cost $11.for a 3-minute phone call from Denver to New York City.

*There were only 8,000 automobiles 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.

*The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

*The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

*The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

*A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

*More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

*90% of all 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 per pound, eggs were fourteen cents a dozen and coffee sold at 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 their country for any reason.

*The 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 iced tea hadn't been invented.

*There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
*One in ten U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
*Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from High School.

Here’s a favorite:
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drug stores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and in fact is a perfect guardian of health."

*18% 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.



tmt said...

It would be interesting to research the exact same statistics for 2000 + 7 and do a comparison. That would be a major mind bogglement!

TJ said...


Pattie Mosca said...

AMAZING....We've come a long way baby?!?!?!?!?! LOL

Anonymous said...

It's almost unbelievable.

Paula said...


Cheryl Finley: said...

Wow! Oh my...looking at the school children and "school mistress" and the simplicity of it reminds me a bit of my chilhood; althugh I wasn't around in those's the beautiful simplicity, the unencumburedness was natural back then. I am thankful for our advances, it IS nice to get a glimpse of the simple, basic things. Thank you for that!

megan said...

Royce...this photo has me captivated. I've been trying to imagine the life of a young school teacher in such a new, untamed place. And I guess I've been remembering my one year of teaching way up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Some parallels. It edges up on that fine line between courage and "what was I thinking?"!

Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your wonderful comment on my photo blog. Think of a time when your doubt grew tall and then someone said just the right thing to snap you out of it...that's what you did!

megan said...

and thank you for adding me to your wonderful list of Muses!

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