A Century Passes in a Blink of Time by Tissy Smith, Orange County A’s
Most of us have cars dating back to 1928-1931. Oh, if only our cars could talk and share the stories of their lives. As we look forward to 2019, here is a small glimpse of what transpired a hundred years ago. 1919 was a busy year.
World War I was over thanks to the Treaty of Versailles and most Americans were eager for peace and security. However, revolution and unrest ran rampant across Europe and North America, the Flu Pandemic continued from the prior year with a third brutal wave in the Spring, killing 185,440 people.
Two Amendments to the US Constitution were ratified, the 18th, authorizing Prohibition and the 19th Amendment, which would guarantee suffrage to women.
They denoted the high-water mark of the moral impulses of the Progressive era. Many historians summarize 1919 as rivaling 1968 as the worst year in twentieth century American history.
The population of the US was 104,514,000 (today it is 325,700,000). Even though most people’s primary form of communication at this point was letter writing, telephones were becoming popular, including the phone booth (something our children will only see in old movies and museums). Dial telephones were introduced by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and the first rotary dial telephones in the Bell System were installed in Norfolk, Virginia.
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was confirmed when the Royal Astronomical Society saw the predicted effect during a solar eclipse.
The pop-up toaster, short wave radios, and arc welders were invented in the US in 1919. Ah, American ingenuity.
The most popular baby names for boys were John, William, James, Robert and Charles. For girls, Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ruth. All of these names are having a resurgence in popularity a century later.
Edsel Ford succeeded his father, Henry, as head of the Ford Motor Company.
In the entertainment industry, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and DOW. Griffith launched United Artists in an attempt to control their own work. Charlie Chaplin started work on The Kid, his first feature film. His co-star would be a 4-year old Jackie Coogan.
An act of the United States Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park.
Here is a little history for David Knapp, our ACCC Representative:
- Oregon placed a per gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first US state to levy a gasoline tax.
- Cost of a first-class stamp rose from $.02 to $0.34 This year, your Forever stamps will be worth $0.55
- Average grocery prices — I pound apples $0.I I, 2 pounds roast beef $0.38, 3 pounds steak $0.60, I pound bread $0.54 , 3 pounds chicken $1.90.
- In the first major scandal in Major League Baseball, nine players from the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, It is forever known as the Black Sox Scandal with players, such as the immortal Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was banned from the game and Hall of Fame forever.
- Felix the Cat was the first cartoon character.
- Several famous people were born in 1919. J.D. Salinger, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Nat King Cole and Liberace, to name a few.
- Many innovations have happened during Rose’s lifetime, such as: the hairdryer (1920), the lie detector (1921), aerosol can (1927), car radio (1929), Dirt Devil (1937), artificial heart (1941), the Slinky (1943), disposable diapers (1946), breathalyzer (1955), the Internet (1969), Sony Walkman (1980), Epson HX-20 – the world’s first laptop (1981), World Wide Web (1989), Dyson vacuum cleaner (1993), Apple iPhone (2007), Twitter (2009), Apple iPad (2010).
What a difference a mere 100 years can make.