As 2015 draws to a close, let's take a look back 100 years to see what was happening in 1915. It was a different time, full of social upheaval, stunning inventions, and a shifting culture. Enjoy this blast from the past.
1. 1915 kicked off on a low note as Congress voted against women’s right to vote. Women wouldn’t get the right to vote until 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified.
2. A German U-boat torpedoed the British ocean liner, Lusitania, for entering waters that had been declared a “zone of war.” The German army viewed the ship as a target because it was transporting war munitions. Over 1,100 passengers, including 128 Americans, died in the tragedy. The attack soured American opinions of Germany and was cited as an influence on President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter World War I in April 1917.
3. While it seems like times were dark there were highlights. Kraft started selling processed cheese, giving their cheese a longer shelf life.
4. The first stop sign made its debut in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan. As you can see from the photo below, more guidance on the roads was sorely needed.
5. Lane Bryant opened its first retail store after 11 years in business in 1915. The company got its started by producing the first commercially sold maternity clothes.
6. America’s population was a tiny 100,546,000 people, not including Alaska and Hawaii. Those states weren’t officially added until 1959. Today America has 322.7 million people living within its states.
7. If you enjoyed bathing today, count your blessings. In 1915, only 1 in 7 households had a bathtub.
8. The Boston Red Sox’s own Babe Ruth hit his first home run in a professional ballgame in a game against the Yankees on May 16, 1915. Ruth went on to set the home run record for baseball with 715 career home runs. His record stood until 1974 when it was broken by Hank Aaron.
9. A movie ticket in 1915 had an average cost of between 7 and 10 cents. Adjusted for inflation that would still only put the cost of seeing a movie somewhere between $1.64 and 2.35.
10. Most importantly, in 1915 two New York chemists, Eugene Sullivan and William Taylor, revolutionized dinner with the invention of Pyrex glass cookware. In the name of casseroles, lasagnas and general leftovers everywhere, we salute you.