As the past year closed, Listverse gave some interesting facts about what America was like 100 years ago. From their website:
In 1909 none of these things had been invented: zippers, band-aids, traffic lights, bubble gum, penicillin, sunglasses, ballpoint pens, shopping carts, nylon stockings, kitty litter, and milk cartons. In the US there were about 230 reported murders and the average life expectancy was 47. An accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year and a dentist $2,500. The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year, but sugar only cost four cents a pound and eggs were just fourteen cents a dozen. Most women washed their hair only once a month and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. The six leading causes of death were pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke. From 1909 to 2009 the world population grew from 1.7 billion to 6.4 billion.