Life and Experiences of the 1910s

The decade of the 1910s was such a transition time in America. New inventions were starting to appear in communities and homes, slowing. It would be a decade of a world war and of a global pandemic.

Here are a few items and events to make sure you place in the family history for ancestors who lived during the 1910s. For me it was my grandparents and great grandparents, living in Maryland.

Workers in all different job fields earned about $200 to $400 a year.

Medical doctors did not have such a full advanced education as a doctor in later decades. Most had not attended any college and only studied in medical schools, many of which were considered substandard.

Some of the special treats and activities common today did not even exist in the 1910s – that of iced tea, crossword puzzles and canned beer.

Having an indoor bathtub or shower with running water existed in only about 14% of homes in America.

The ladies washed their hair using Borax or egg yolks as a shampoo. They washed their hair about once a month.

Automobiles were new and their production just starting. Some people had purchased a car between 1905 and 1909 and even more by the 1910s. Still, there were only about 8,000 cars on just 144 miles of paved roads. Most traveled on rock or dirt roads.

Traditionally babies were born at home and that continued in the 1910s with about 95% of all births at home, not a hospital.

The average life expectancy for males was about 47 years.

Telephones were fairly new also, so no all regions even had telephone service. About 8% of the homes had a phone.

Many children graduate from high school, only about 6% did so. It was even covered on census reports, there were about 20% of adults who could not read or write.

So just a sampling of how your ancestors lived in the 1910s.

Photos: 1910s Bathroom; 1912 auto; unpaved roads; and ladies washing hair.

Related Blogs:

1910 Census and Your Ancestors

Scandalize Dances of the 1910s

Early 20th Century

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