What Was Life Like in 1914 ?

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In 1914, life was very different in America, and in many ways, it was much simpler. Women could not vote, and many young people did not finish school because they had to work and help support their families. Crimes were less violent in nature, generally consisting of charges like trotting a horse over a bridge or fishing with a net. The average annual salary, reported by Courant, was $577.

Many famous people debuted in 1914, including Charlie Chaplin and Babe Ruth. The Federal Reserve opened, and the U.S. Trade Commission was established along with the inauguration of the Panama Canal.

While Henry Ford was making Model T’s, many Americans couldn’t afford a car with a price tag of around $200. Old Brothers Dodge Touring Cars were closer to $500, and a gallon of gas cost about 12 cents. The cost of buying a house for an average-sized family was approximately $3,500, and it was common for extended families to live in the same home to share the expense and the work.

Those considered middle class could afford homes and cars in 1914. Many people worked industrial jobs or in the shipbuilding industry, which could be physically demanding and dangerous. Farming was still a common job, and marrying young was also fairly common.