Looking at Life 100 Years Ago

Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899 in Italy and is currently the oldest living person on Earth.  At just two months short of 117 years old, she is one of the world’s roughly 450,000 centenarians.  A centenarian is someone who has lived to be 100 years old or older – something that Ms. Morano did back in 1999.

emma-morano

Nearly 117-year-old Emma Morano.  Photo from people.com.

Living to be 100 years old is quite a feat, but one that is becoming more common with increases and health care and living conditions.  In fact, according to www.thecentenarian.co.uk, centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the population.  Since National Centenarian Day is today, September 22, this got us thinking about how much our industry, as well as the world around us, has changed in 100 years.  The comparison is mind blowing!  Check it out below:

1916 for Industries Served by Knit-Rite and Therafirm

  • Knit-Rite and Therafirm were not yet in operation.
  • Nylon was not used for stockings until the 1930s. In 1916, stockings were made of cotton or silk.
  • Amputations resulting from WWI during this time brought the importance of technology and development of prostheses to the attention of the US Surgeon General of the Army. This led to the formation of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) the year following in 1917.
  • Medical compression was used to treat some conditions, such as varicose veins, but due to the lack of today’s chemical fibers, materials used included laced stockings, elastic bands and tight bandages with resin.
  • Use of gradient compression was still a half a century away.prosthesisA look at prosthetic devices from the past. Photo from prosthetic-limbs.yolasite.com.

1916 Cost of Living

stamp

A postage stamp from 1916. Photo from vistastamps.com.

(Costs are averages) 1916 2016
Postage Stamp $0.02 $0.49
Coffee (per pound) $0.30 $7.94
Sugar (per pound) $0.04 $1.74
Eggs (per dozen) $0.38 $1.33
Bread (per loaf) $0.04 $1.98
Car $360 $33,560
Gas (per gallon) $0.22 $2.21
Home $3,000 $379,800
Gold (per ounce) $20.67 $1,272.50
Movie Ticket $0.07 $8.17

The average income in 1916 was roughly $700 per year for men and $350 per year for women.

1916 US Politics and History

  • The 33rd US Presidential election was held on November 7, 1916. Incumbent President and Democrat Woodrow Wilson beat the Republican challenger and Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes.campaign-buttonCampaign button from the 1916 election. Photo from britannica.com.
  • The Democrats held a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Speaker of the House was Democrat Champ Clark. The House had 435 voting members.
  • The Senate, led by President pro temp. James Clarke, had 96 Senators.
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was Edward Douglass White.
  • The US population was 101,961,000.
  • The American flag had only 45 stars even though the US had 48 states.
  • The first woman to serve in the US Congress, Jeannette Rankin, a 36-year-old Republican from Montana, was elected.
  • The Reserve Officer Training Corp – ROTC – is established.
  • Louis Brandeis becomes the first Jewish justice of the Supreme Court.

1916 World Events

  • The world was embroiled in World War I (then known as the Great War) between Allied Powers, led by France, the British Empire and Russia, and the Central Powers, led by Germany and Austria-Hungary. The US would later join the Allied Powers in 1917.
  • Paris, France was first bombed by German zeppelins.
  • The Battle of Verdun, one of the largest and longest battles of WWI, was fought in France between February 21 and December 18, 1916.World War One, Battle of Verdun. French trench on the front lines, 1916. (Photo by Roger Viollet/Getty Images)Front line trenches, Battle of Verdun, 1916. Photo from history.com.
  • US President Woodrow Wilson sends 12,000 troops across the US-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.

1916 Sports

  • The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was created.
  • The World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox. Babe Ruth, then a 21-year-old pitcher, won game 2.  The Red Sox would go on to win the series again in 1918 before suffering an 86-year drought.babe-ruthBabe Ruth during the 1916 baseball season. Photo from libaseballmag.com.
  • The Chicago Cubs played their first game in Wrigley Field (then called Weeghman Park). Wrigley is currently the second oldest active MLB ballpark, opening in 1914.  The Cubs have never won a World Series during their 100 years playing at Wrigley, and are now in their 108th year since a title and 71st year since an appearance in the World Series.
  • The Super Bowl was still 51 years away from existing. The NFL, which began as the American Professional Football Conference, was still 4 years away from its inaugural season.
  • The first Tournament of Roses football game (Rose Bowl) was played between Washington State University and Brown University. The Rose Bowl is the oldest American college football bowl game.
  • The Summer Olympics was scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany, but was cancelled due to World War I.

1916 Achievements, Inventions and Other Firsts

  • The first blood transfusion was performed by British Royal Army Medical Corps.
  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, at 984 feet, was the world’s tallest building. The tallest building in 2016 is the Burj Khalifa in dubai, UAE at 2,723 feet.eiffelThe Eiffel Tower in 1916. Photo from warbirdinformationexchange.org.
  • Albert Einstein completed his formulation of a general theory of relativity.
  • Claude Monet painted his Water Lilies series of paintings.
  • The light switch was invented.
  • The Saturday Evening Post published its first cover featuring a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Actor Charlie Chaplin signed with Mutual Studios earning $10,000 per week.
  • The tow truck was invented by Ernest Holmes, Sr.
  • The first supermarket, Piggly Wiggly, opened.pigglyThe first supermarket, Piggly Wiggly, in 1916. Photo from historic-memphis.com.
  • The hamburger bun was invented by a fry cook named Walter Anderson. He later founded White Castle.
  • The first Boeing aircraft, a Bluebell seaplane, made its first flight.
  • Lincoln Logs were invented by John L. Wright. His son Frank Lloyd Wright grew up to be a famous architect.
  • German automobile company, BMW was founded.
  • President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation creating the National Park Service.
  • The first 40-hour work week begins at the Endicott-Johnson factories in New York.

1916 Miscellaneous

  • Only 6% of Americans had graduated high school.
  • The US had only 230 reported murders.
  • Life expectancy was 49.6 years for men and 54.3 years for women.
  • Only 14% of homes had a bathtub.
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • 90% of all doctors had no college education.
  • Marijuana, heroin and morphine were available at local drugstores over-the-counter.
  • The leading causes of death were pneumonia, influenza, and tuberculosis.
  • Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the country.
  • The first fortune cookies were produced in Los Angeles, California.
  • “Somewhere a Voice is Calling” by John McCormack was the number one song title.
  • 8% of American homes had a telephone.

1916 Notable Births

  • Jackie Gleason, American comedian, actor and musician
  • Dinah Shore, American singer
  • Gregory Peck, American actor
  • Beverly Cleary, American author
  • Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense
  • Roald Dahl, Welsh-born author
  • Walter Cronkite, American television journalistcronkiteWalter Cronkite was born in 1916. Photo from blogs.uoregon.edu.
  • Kirk Douglas, American film actor
  • Betty Grable, American actress

Things have changed dramatically in 100 years.  Imagine how different life will be by the next 100.

Sources:

www.thecentenarian.co.uk

http://thecircular.org/sixteen-differences-1916-2016-100-years-change/

http://www.infoplease.com/year/1916.html

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/01/1916_sports_famous_firsts_achi.html

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/01/1916_facts_famous_firsts_birth.html

http://dailygenius.com/facts-about-the-year-1916/

http://kimberleykoz.com/a-look-at-one-hundred-years-ago-1916/

http://www.amputee-coalition.org/resources/a-brief-history-of-prosthetics/

http://unyq.com/the-history-of-prosthetics/

http://www.stockingirl.com/HIST.html

http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/107-articles/1776-hosiery-history

http://www.hidez.com.au/?route=information/information&information_id=4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_stockings

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/05/13/shes-only-person-left-born-1800s/84321322/

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