100 Years Ago, 100 Years From Now

Life in 1911

We got an email from someone, no idea of its origination, that listed about 50 surprising things of the way it was 100 years ago. Here were some of our favorites:

  • The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
  • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
  • More than 95 percent of all births took place at home .
  • Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • 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 Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

It is easy to laugh at the way things were back then. Eerily easy. Perhaps in 100 years, these will be some of the things people laugh at 2011:

  • The average family size of Western families was only 1.8 children per couple, less than demographic replacement.
  • The average 24 year old was in debt over the average yearly wage of the same 24 year old.
  • Over a million babies were voluntarily aborted every year.
  • Ninety percent of churches preached on love less than 10% of the time throughout the year.
  • One in six Americans took direct assistance from the government.
  • Out of the 35 trillion dollars in the world, the United States owned 15 trillion of it in debt.
  • The majority of people actually believed the world was warming because of carbon dioxide.
  • Chris & Wendy Jeub’s Love Another Child released, sold less than a thousand copies, before becoming a viral bestseller that turned the tide of the culture and solved all the problems above.

In a hundred years, people will forward this message to all their friends with a snicker. “Wow, can you imagine? They were so stupid back then.”

Here’s a recent headline that, we hope, shows the coming trend: “Canadian Couple Welcomes 100th Grandchild.” It’s about parents of 16 who recently welcomed their 100th grandchild. Perhaps this won’t be news in 100 years.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a productive and prosperous 2012!

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Anonymous

    I think I’d like to see the source of “Over half of Americans took direct assistance from the government.” because I find that one very hard to believe.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      You’re probably right and we’re wrong. I’ll change it to 1 in 6, which is still higher than it ever has been.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=799259836 Amy Woolley Pederson

      I tried to find some sort of online statistic about government assistance but nothing came right up.  I would venture to say the statistic is probably closer to half considering that the EIC on income tax forms is just another way the government hands out money to people that didn’t earn it.  It isn’t a tax credit, but money given above and beyond what the family or individual paid into the system.  “Free” money from the government is welfare. 

      I suppose it would also depend on what you would consider direct assistance.  What about disability benefits (their definition of “disabled” is too broad in my opinion), WIC, Medicaid, etc? 

      • Janis3

        Do the Jeubs take the EIC?

  • Janetkiessling

    Hey there – Awesome post!!!! The Kiessling Family just took the kids done memory lane yesterday. Hubby’s daddy past away this past Thanksgiving Day. He was 91. But he also had cancer – so we knew he was going to go home with Jesus soon! So on New Year’s Day – hubby wanted to take a road trip to Oakland – the birthplace of his daddy – he showed the kids the house where his daddy & his daddy’s sister’s were born (like you said – hospitals weren’t used – drs came to them). It was amazing – the house is over 100 yrs old – it looks great! He took us all over Oakland. Showed the kids where the Raiders played their first game – in a parking lot w/ bleachers!! The 14 yr old was in awe! Took us to all of papa’s schools and his, too – eye-opening! One of our son’s had a question – “why aren’t there alot of garages, dad?” Well, like my grandparents – not many people back say the need to get a driver’s license! WOW! And look at us now!!!!! Memories – thank you ,Lord for them!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      It’s great measuring our lives from significant benchmarks.

  • Sheila

    Hi Chris and Wendy,
                               I would like to think that in 100 years people would look back at 2011 and say how glad they are that things have changed.I hope that in 100 years people would be embracing a God given love for children,men’s hearts would be turned back to their famiies,women would be finding fulfillment as wives and mothers and more people would have received Jesus as their saviour.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Amen to that!

  • http://profiles.google.com/anij34 Jolene O’Dell

    ~Loved the link~ Thanks for posting it!

  • Jane

    What percentage of women died in childbirth in 1911? What about 2011?

    • http://thepassionatehomeschooler.blogspot.com/ Pam

      Probably more die today with the extreme c-section rate and all the drugs and intervention. jmho as a midwife who prays, uses her hands and knows when things are right for staying in the home to birth.

      • Guest

        No offense, but your reply as a midwife scares me for the women you serve. Homebirths are safe for women and children who are healthy. In case of child or maternal distress I hope you get over yourself and call 911. You are dealing with lives here, real lives that can be saved with medical technology.
        As for satistics, more women died during child birth a 100 years ago than now. Since I am not sure you will listen to any statistics, please take a walk in old cemeteries both in USA and if possible, Europe. There are a lot more women of child bearing age, some very young and the children who died with them a 100 years ago and before buried there than there are in modern cemeteries.

        • http://thepassionatehomeschooler.blogspot.com/ Pam

          Improper sanitary conditions and medical intervention (remember bleeding a patient with leeches?) and lack of access to hospitals are one of the big reasons so many people died 100 years ago in general. Lack of knowledge is another reason.
          And yes, I am an apprenticed lay midwife with back up. Did you read my words? I said that I am trained to
          ‘know when things are right for staying in the home to birth.’

          Why is it insinuated that I am uninformed (I’ve delivered over 330 healthy babies)? Doctors respect me in my area. I’ve delivered more babies than many of the young doctors around here. My record of no tearing, and seldom transporting, good monitoring, etc are excellent. I never imply in any way that everyone should have a homebirth!  (Homebirth is obviously only for healthy women who choose homebirth. That’s the big key. They choose it and have a right to the option of it.) The above arguments are full of fallacies and fear, which does not make for a reasonable debate.

          Home birth is a healthy choice for women who qualify and when there is a responsible midwife assisting. Hospitals are ideal places to get treated when sickness, disease and emergency intervention is a factor. That’s why midwives are trained to know these things and that’s why doctors available.

          • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

            I lean toward you, Pam. 

            No offense, Guest, but the is a significant logical fallacy that you are using to advocate the idea that childbirth is safer today than 100 years ago: Non sequitor. It doesn’t necessarily follow that because fewer women die today in childbirth, childbirth practices are better. Pam is right, there are many other medical reasons childbirth doesn’t lead to death. Making medical claims that don’t follow just shouldn’t be tolerated when making medical decisions.

            A revealing movie that puts this debate into focus is “The Business of Being Born.” I know home delivery is a radical idea for most people, and we’re cool about disagreement, but the reasons laid out in this movie has convinced Wendy and me toward home delivery.

            • http://thepassionatehomeschooler.blogspot.com/ Pam

              Thanks.  I was feeling bad for taking up your page with my comment and people opposing my comment. lol!
              It is refreshing to have conversations with grace. There are so many fallacies out there that we fall into, aren’t there? When we listen carefully, sometimes it ends up that we find ourselves not so violently opposed to each other, ya know?

      • Janis3

        No, you are wrong. The maternal death rate was far, far higher 100 years ago. Thank goodness for c-sections and modern drugs! Without them, Michelle Duggar would not be alive today.

        • Janis3

          And thank goodness for birth control, as well. That has saved the lives of millions of women who could not safely carry to term, or who would have died in childbirth.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZXHT7XDXDDSOBCWGPTUGYGV5Q Elizabeth

        Are you a licensed nurse midwife?

        For the record the maternal death rate was significantly higher 100 years ago. You don’t know the facts.

      • Guest

        Scares me too! Makes me want to re think my decision to have a child at home if you are licensed midwife. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZXHT7XDXDDSOBCWGPTUGYGV5Q Elizabeth

    Interesting. In 1912 my Dad was 8 years old. Both parents were high school graduates, his father was a college graduate. His uncle was a M.D. who graduated from medical school. All of his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were literate. His home had a bath tub and indoor toilet. 4 siblings died of diptheria. A brother had brain surgery in 1901 to reduce seizures (still don’t know exactly what was done).  The average life span in my Dad’s family was about 80 years, excluding those who died in childhood. They did not have a servant or domestic help even though they were upper middle class. They had a car. So it sounds like my Dad’s family wasn’t typical for a 1912 family.

  • Delilah

    More factors go into death rates than childbirth. Hygiene was practically nonexistent, birth rates were higher, medical intervention with practically nonexistent, and life spans were shorter. I dont understand peoples problem with welfare. I would much rather my tax dollars go to feed hungry families than be spent on bogus wars to beef up already wealthy businessman ( we are Quakers, and devoutly non-violent). Trying to debate Global warming would be like trying to debate Evolution, no one would win! Lol