15 March 2012

Tech Talk

     It's interesting to think about the changes that have come about in technology since, and during, my grandparents' generation.  In the 1940s, just like today, technology was constantly evolving and, in most cases, have no resemblance to today.

     As a young teen girl in Atlanta, my Grandmama road the streetcars to get around town.  These have been defunct since 1949 but are being re-installed this year.  I kinda want to go ride one when they get them up and running to see what it might have been like for her. (See a photo of a 1945 streetcar)

     My Great-Aunt Ree recently mentioned that the family often spent the evening together, sitting around the radio. Her family wouldn't have a television until the late 1940s when her step-father bought one. She also remembered living in a hotel owned by her family and the telephone in the lobby. One phone for the entire hotel, verses today where everyone has a phone in their pocket!

     My father's sister, my Aunt June, remembers growing up in a house where the only source of water was a well.  The family had to tote water into the house for washing clothes, dishes and themselves. And yes, they had an outhouse.  They wouldn't have inside running water until well into the 1950s!

     I can't even imagine how changes in medicine and health care have changed lives. My Great-Grandfather died of tuberculosis in 1947. New cures and standard vaccinations for many diseases, such as whooping cough and diphtheria, became common in the late 1940s and saved countless lives.

     I'm very grateful for the improvements in technology, as I'm sure generations past have been. To find out more about life in the 1940s, check out the 1940 Census website. If you're a blogger, make sure to sign up for their Ambassador Program. You'll also find out more information on how you can take part in indexing the 1940 Census. You can also enter contests to win prizes (simply by writing blog posts like this one, which is an entry into a contest to win a $50 gift card).


Ruby Craft said...

It is amazing how many things we take for granted today were not even thought of in my parents (your grandparents) early years or even mine. I remember when my sister got her first record player and we kept playing Johnny Cash's "The Ring of Fire" over and over again because she only got one record with it. Most children now have never seen a record. Now you buy and download songs over the internet or have music apps on your cell phone. I think I would enjoy riding that Trolley card with you!

Michael Pierce said...

And the pace of change keeps getting faster and faster. Can you imagine what folks would think of our need for bottled water these days? And the amount of money we pay for that water? Crazy.

Ruby - if you're going to only have 1 song to listen to, at least it was a great one!

I wrote about technology as well in my post, but it's something that took a while to become useful.


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