Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It’s not your grandmother’s world

I’ve seen a lot of changes in my 70 years on earth, as I wrote in earlier posts. While I was writing about the changes I’ve seen in my lifetime, I was thinking about my grandmother. When I look back and consider what my grandmother witnessed in her 102 years (born in 1884), it staggers the imagination. She was born in the horse and buggy age and died in the jet age, having lived long enough to see us put a man on the moon. Here is a brief summary of the technological changes she saw in her 102 years, going …

-From the horse and buggy to the horseless carriage to the modern automobile;
-From gas and kerosene lamps for illumination to electric lights;
-From wood-fired kitchen stove to microwave oven;
-From ice boxes to electric refrigerators;
-From a hand pump to running water;
-From an outhouse to indoor plumbing;
-From washing laundry by hand to washing machines;
-From hanging laundry on the line to electric or gas dryers;
-From heavy irons made of iron heated on the stove to lighter-weight electric irons;
-From open windows to electric fans to air conditioning;
-From coal-fired furnace to oil or gas furnace that doesn’t need tending;
-From trains to flight (propeller) to the jet age to rockets exploring the solar system;
-From steam-powered locomotives spewing smoke to diesel-electric;
-From writing a letter to sending a telegraph to email to texting;
-From writing a letter to calling on the telephone (landline) to the cell phone;
-From handwriting to the typewriter to the computer word processor to voice recognition;
-From horse-drawn wagons to 18 wheel trucks;
-From dirt roads to paved roads to superhighways;
-From Vaudeville to radio to movies to black and white television to wide screen HDTV;
-From libraries to the Internet.

That’s an enormous amount of change in just 100 years, and the list didn’t even include advances in medicine.

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