A lot of things have changed in the past 100 years. Here's a look at six things that have changed drastically between 1915 and 2015.
1915 - Magnavox Anti-Noise Desk Set, Type B1
Image via Museum Phones
This telephone had simple "noise cancelling." The users voice entered holes in the mouthpiece which vibrated the diaphragm inside. Outside noise entered both through the top and bottom, which cancelled each other out. Aside from that, there was no dialing. You simply picked up the phone and a human operator picked up. You told the operator where you wanted to call and they physically connected you. It's hard for anyone younger than 50 to even fathom this!
2015 - Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy
Now, the phone is hardly even used as a phone, but more as a computer and camera. Everyone knows everything about these phones, so I won't bore you with any reading about them, but communication has come a LONG way in 100 years.
2. War planes
1915 - Bristol Scout
Image via Military Factory
This airplane was designed as a racing plane, but with World War I starting up, it was converted to a combat plane due to its speed. It was powered by a single 80 horsepower rotary piston engine and weighed 761 pounds. The top speed was 100 miles per hour and it could climb to its maximum altitude of 10,000 feet in about 18 minutes. It was later mounted with a 7.7mm Lewis machine gun for shooting targets. It was able to stay in the air 2.5 hours.
2015 - Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
Image via Wikipedia
The F-35 Lightning II is considered one of the best fighter jets built. It has a top speed of 1,199 miles per hour. It weighs 34,800 pounds. It has a range of approximately 1,400 miles and maximum altitude of 60,000 feet. The F-35 is outdone by the previous fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, but due to very high cost, it was discontinued and the F-35 took its place.
1915 - women's "bathing suits"
Image via Flickr
Now I know where the term bathing suit came from. Not really sure how this worked for getting into water.
2015 - the standard swimsuit of women at the beach, the bikini
They don't really leave anything to the imagination any more.
4. Regular old gas powered automobiles - from Ford
1915 - Ford Model T
Image via Inside EVs
Also known as the Tin Lizzie, the 1914 Model T was the definition of family automobile in its time. They were priced $500-$750 depending on the model chosen. The four cylinder engine produced 20-22 hp. The car was started by hand cranking the engine.
The Model T weighed in at 1,200 pounds. It held 10 gallons of gasoline and traveled around 200 miles per tank, giving it an average of 20-25 miles per gallon (sadly, this was about the same mileage that cars only 15 eyars ago got). The top speed was 45 miles per hour, but the normal cruising speed was around 35 mph.
2015 - Ford Fusion
The Fusion isn't even close to being a top of the line car, but for comparison's sake, I chose a mid sized Ford Sedan that's a typical car for a family. The selection of cars in the present day is so large, it would be hard to compare everything.
The Fusion is priced from $21,970-$30,600 (before added options). It has a 175 hp engine, which pushes it to a max speed of 108 mph.
The 2015 Fusion weighs 3,615 pounds. The gas tank holds 16.5 gallons, and it averages 33 miles per gallon. The rest of the features and options available on a Fusion, even standard, are so far beyond even the options available 30 years ago that comparing them to a 1915 car is not even possible. At least the Model T did have seats and a windshield.
5. Electric cars
1915 - Detroit Electric
Image via Green Car Reports
Yes, in 1915 there were, in fact, electric automobiles. This particular model ran on fourteen 6-volt batteries. A notable difference in this car vs. even other cars of its day was the steering. It used a tiller rather than a wheel. Pushing forward turned left, while pulling back turned right. That meant anyone with a large stomach couldn't make a sharp right turn!
The car was much pricier than a Model T at $2,650. The car originally had a rechargeable lead acid battery, but for an additional $600, you could get an Edison nickel-iron battery. The cars were advertised to get 80 miles per charge, but were known to surpass 200 miles. The biggest problem was that they had a top speed of only 20 mph. Like its modern day counterparts, the Detroit Electrics had instant torque, but in this day, that meant a physical jerk as it kicked into motion.
In 1915, the Detroit Electric also incorporated regenerative braking!
The cars were quite popular until the stock market crash in 1929, when the company had to file for bankruptcy and never recovered. Ironically, Henry Ford's wife Clara drove more than one Detroit Electric!
2015 - Tesla Model S
Currently the Tesla Model S is the only real option for electric driving today that really competes with gas powered cars. Priced between $69,000 and $130,00+, the Model S is also much pricier than its gas counterparts. To be fair though, it really competes more on the level of a Porsche Panamera than your average sedan.
The Model S can reach 300 miles per charge at 55mph, but on average closer to 250 miles in most real world use. It uses 60 kWh up to 90 kWh lithium ion batteries, the entire pack taking up the underbelly of the whole car.
A Model S is built for performance. 762 HP, 1000 lb-ft of torque (at 0 RPM!) on the P90D model with Ludicrous Mode gives the car a 0-60 of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph, a FAR cry from the old Detoit Electric! Still a ways off from mainstream use, but the Model S has proven that electrics are a viable alternative to gas.
1915 - Prior to passage of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act
Prior to December 17, 1914, narcotics were available and encouraged for all sorts of ailments. Sears, Roebuck & Co. sold a syringe of cocaine for $1.50. Leading up to 1914, many states had already passed laws regulating cocaine and cannibis, and prohibiting opiates. In 1914, though, this federal law was passed to make money and regulate sale of these narcotics. Abuse had become a problem, with an estimated 0.25% of US residents being addicted to some form of opium.
Unfortunately for history, much of the argument to get this and later laws passed were very racist in nature, and used fear rather than education to help people understand the dangers of the drugs' use.
2015 - Cheap drugs and prescriptions
Today, use of drugs like cocaine and heroine aren't so much the problem as meth and abuse of prescription drugs. It is estimated that 0.04-0.05% of the US population has used meth and a similar number of US residents are currerntly abusing prescription drugs.
Sadly, it looks as if part of human nature is to attempt to escape reality.