Looking Back: Comparing Centuries

shschesterfieldcountyva 11 Feb 2020

blue circle. mark on the calendar at 25.As we mark the beginning of 2020, we thought it would be fun to compare the first 20 years of the 20th century to the first 20 years of this one. Enjoy as we take a look!

A lot has changed over the last 100 years. Seniors today live in a world that is totally different than their parents. The beginning of the 20th century, from 1990-1920 was the height of the industrial revolution. Modern factors were created and the idea of production efficiency was developed. Most people lived in rural areas and on farms. Today, the world is dominated by large, urban areas, and the family farm has quickly faded into history. Technology dominates everything.

20th Century

Jazz was the music of the early 20th century. Ragtime jazz started in New Orleans and eventually spread across the country. By the mid-1910s, jazz dominated the clubs in New York and Chicago. How people listed to music also changed. Edison invented the phonograph in the late 1800s, but its widespread use did not happen until the early 20th century. By 1913, the device started to use discs rather than cylinders to play back sounds. Radios also became more common, but did not have widespread usage until the 1920s.

The early 20th century also saw several other major inventions. The first Model T car came off the assembly line in 1908. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford build some 15 million Model T cars, and the invention revolutionized transportation. Sonar was invented 1916, and Wright Brothers recorded the first flight in 1903. Shipping transportation was completely changed with the completion of the Panama Canal.

The world saw its first world war, which happened between 1914 and 1918. It’s estimated that 9 million soldiers died and 7 million civilians were killed during the conflict. The war completely changed the scope and way wars were fought.

21st Century

The 21 Century saw the electronic revolution and a major terrorist attack. On Sept. 11, 2001, two commercial airlines hit the World Trade Centers in New York and the building crumbled to the ground. That led the United States to enter conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, struggles that continue today in one form or another.

Music in the early 21st century has been dominated by technology and dance. Popular musicians have been the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Taylor Swift, Adele, Backstreet Boys, Carrie Underwood, Nickelback and Norah Jones. The music industry has also been radically altered by technology. The record and DVD were the primary way that music was sold during the second half of the 20th century. The invention of streaming over the Internet and the MP3 played changed how music was transmitted.

Since 2000, the Internet has become a mainstream commodity. Rather than getting news and entertainment through television, radio and newspapers, people can access information through websites and social media. Anyone can publish information and potentially reach millions of people. Movies are streamed through the Internet rather than on DVD or VHS tapes, the primary form in the later part of the 20th century.

Cell phones went from a mobile way to call people to small computers with a camera. The camera phone was invented in 2000 and today, and some estimated says that 100 million people use an iPhone on a daily basis.

Hybrid and electric vehicle have radically transformed the auto industry. The Toyota Prius came to the United States in 2001 and now hybrid and electric vehicles are one of the fastest growing segments of the auto industry. Tesla Motors was founded 2003, and now an estimated 1 million electric vehicles are on the road in the United States.

Some of the major historical events of the last 20 years include Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia Tech shooting, the Gulf oil spill and the election of the first black president. The break up of the European Union started with the passage of a referendum in 2016 and continues today with Brexit.

What will the next 100 years be? Nobody can say, but the world will look nothing like the what we have today.

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