How has the world changed since 1900?

From 1900 is a wide range of time to cover; this answer will only partly address the issues. My comments start at around 1900, moving forward.

Public utilities--

  1. There were none.
  2. Water mostly came from private wells.
  3. Community dams supplied main cities with water, but this came much later.
  4. People in rural towns still used gaslights. Electricity came first to street lights and businesses, then much later to homes.
  5. Most people in rural towns had indoor plumbing but many still had outhouses. Inside houses, the bathroom was called "the water closet". There were bathtubs but not showers at home.
  6. There was no gas furnaces or electric heat. Coal furnaces were used in homes and businesses. Factories used coal and "coke", a by-product of burning coal refuse (mixed with ores and clay dirt).
  7. There was no television at all.


  1. The biggest long distance form of communication was letter writing through US mail.
  2. Towns had telegraph offices, with wires atop "telegraph poles"-- there were NO "telephone poles".
  3. People got local news through town newspapers.
  4. By around 1910s- 1920s, people had desktop or tabletop radios.
  5. There was no television until around 1930s. But it was filmed and broadcast in B&W until the 1950s. Even then, many people did not have color TV sets.


  1. People raised their own crops or gardens, or bought from farmers.
  2. People still used "ice boxes".
  3. "The ice man" cut blocks of ice stored in an "ice house". He loaded the ice blocks on a wagon (with box sides) and went neighborhood to neighborhood calling out "Ice, ice, get your ice here!" He would stop when flagged down and carry the ice into the house and put it in the "ice box", the forerunner to the refrigerator.
  4. Milk, eggs were all fresh and delivered to homes.
  5. Meat was fresh from the butcher.
  6. There was the beginning of small "grocery stores" but family owned and very small.
  7. Some widow women made "diners" in their front parlors. There were not "restaurants" like we have today.


  1. In 1900, most people especially in rural areas walked, rode in horse-drawn wagons, or rode horses.
  2. Railroads transported materials (ex. coal) and passengers.
  3. The invention of the automobile was revolutionary! Yet, many families did not own a vehicle until after WW2. With an income of $2,000-3,000 a year, few people could afford to buy an "auto". And there were only manual transmissions in the first vehicles.


  1. People actually TALKED face to face! Sitting on the porch after dinner was the #1 entertainment. Yelling to neighbors was acceptable. "Calling on" friends (in person) was a sign of respect and friendship.
  2. Kids played outside all day until dark up through 1970, without parents or adult supervision.
  3. The vaudeville acts that played on live stages in the 1800s continued until the "picture shows" (movie theaters) took over. For less than 50cents you could watch movies all day.
  4. The television slowly took over families. By the 1960s, families ate "TV Dinners" in front of the television set. But TV ended at 11:59 pm every night, until about 5:59 am.
  5. By 1980s, the thrill of TV waned with the first "video games", like Ninetendo.

Invasions, Suppressions and Wars the US participated in--

  1. Crazy Snake Rebellion (1909) Location: Oklahoma
  2. Border War (1910–1919) Part of the Mexican Revolution Location: Mexico–United States border
  3. Negro Rebellion (1912) Part of the Banana Wars Location: Cuba
  4. Occupation of Nicaragua. (1912–1933) Part of the Banana Wars. Location: Nicaragua
  5. Occupation of Nicaragua Nicaragua. Nicaragua occupied until 1933 until the US Great Depression.
  6. Bluff War (1914–1915) Location: Utah and Colorado
  7. Occupation of Haiti. (1915–1934) Part of the Banana Wars. Location: Haiti
  8. Sugar Intervention. (1916–1918) Part of the Banana Wars Location: Cuba
  9. Occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916–1924) Part of the Banana Wars. Location: Dominican Republic
  10. World War I (1917–1918) Location: Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, the Pacific Islands, and coast of North and South America
  11. Republic of China (1912–49) China
  12. Russian Civil War (1918–1920) Location: Russia, Mongolia, and Iran
  13. Republic of China (1912–49) China
  14. Posey War (1923) Location: Utah
  15. World War II (1941–1945) Location: Europe, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Mediterranean, North Africa, North and South America
  16. Beginning of the Cold War
  17. Korean War (1950–1953) Part of the Cold War Location: Korea
  18. Lebanon Crisis (1958) Location: Lebanon
  19. Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) Part of the Cold War Location: Cuba
  20. Simba Rebellion (1964) Part of the Cold War Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  21. Dominican Civil War (1965–1966) Location: Dominican Republic
  22. Vietnam War (1965–1973; 1975) Part of the Cold War and Indochina Wars Location: Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos
  23. Communist insurgency in Thailand (1965–1983) Part of the Cold War Location: Thailand Shaba II (1978) Location: Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  24. Multinational Force in Lebanon (1982-1984) Part of the Lebanese Civil War Location: Lebanon
  25. Invasion of Grenada (1983) Part of the Cold War Location: Grenada
  26. Tanker War (1987–1988) Location: Persian Gulf
  27. Invasion of Panama (1989–1990) Location: Panama
  28. Gulf War (1990–1991) Location: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel
  29. Somali Civil War (1992–1995) Location: Somalia
  30. Intervention in Haiti (1994–1995) Location: Haiti
  31. Bosnian War (1994–1995) Part of the Yugoslav Wars Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  32. War in Afghanistan (2001–2014) Part of the War on Terror Location: Afghanistan
  33. Iraq War (2003–2011) Part of the Iraqi Insurgency and War on Terror Location: Iraq
  34. War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present) Part of the War on Terror Location: Pakistan
  35. 2011 military intervention in Libya (2011) Part of the Libyan Crisis Location: Libya
  36. War on ISIL (Operation Inherent Resolve) (2014–present)
  37. Part of the Iraqi Civil War, Syrian Civil War, Second Libyan Civil War,
  38. Boko Haram insurgency, and the War on Terror Location: Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nigeria
  39. War in Afghanistan (2015–present)


  1. Though the Industrial Revolution was well underway pre-1900, War certainly increased the demands made on factories.
  2. Unionization that began in coal fields in SW Pennsylvania spread to factories.
  3. WW II in particular began to change society's views about women in the workplace, though men returning home expected their wives to again become housewives.
  4. Coal Mines flourished until the mid-1950s. Though mining continued to prosper, switch to natural gas furnaces and electric heating by the 1970s-1980s affected the industry. Increasing scrutiny after 1990 concerning air pollution turned public opinion against fossil fuels.
  5. Steel mills and factories flourished until around 1981-83 when industries closed, putting men out of work. Stay at home moms entered the workforce.


  1. After the US Civil War, advancements were made in surgery.
  2. After WWII, we had penicillin which has saved billions of lives since WW2.
  3. Vaccines against Polio, Mumps, Measles & Rubella were made which have saved billions of babies and children who used to die from these contagious illnesses, or who were maimed for life with the ravages of Polio.
  4. Tuberculosis has been mostly controlled. In 1900, they still had TB "sanatoriums".
  5. In the 1800s, people died at home. Funerals were held from the deceased's home; there was no embalming. By early 1900s, there were more Undertakers, which changed to Funeral Homes. By 1950s, hospitals began to remove death from being a family event; many people died in hospitals, separated from family. And Funeral Home services were the norm. By 1980, the Home Care movement and Hospice began, allowing people to again die at home. But families still use Funeral Homes to prepare the deceased's body for burial.

Warehousing of mentally ill and the disabled--

  1. Begun in the 1800s, institutions were finally closed in the early 1970s.
  2. Disabled persons could choose where to live.
  3. However, many mentally ill ended up in substandard housing-- or on the streets. This continues.
  4. Today, there is no institutionalized care except in nursing homes.

This is just a smattering of highlights from 1900, leading up to now. Yes, the world has changed. My grandmother saw the change of school being ended at 5th grade for boys, to seeing her grandkids graduating from colleges; advent of telephones in family homes to the advent of computers; from wall phones and party lines, to standard black desk phones with private numbers, to cellphones; electric trolleys and streetcars, to automobiles; the television to Space Travel; from having her infant son die from the flu to seeing her grandchildren vaccinated for common childhood contagions; from day-long movie theaters to television to color TV to music videos; from picking clumps of coal to heat a stove, to coal furnace to gas furnace; from deaths and funerals in the home, to our current system of care and burial; etc. etc.

Technology has been a major development that led to significant advances. Smartphones and computers have revolutionized communications as well as gathering information.