Monday, August 28, 2006


By W:. Patrick Bellotti, P.M.

Today I would like to go off topic a bit and show you some differences between life today versus 100 years ago. My intention is to display how society differed back then and in some way connect the changes with the challenges that not only Masonry but all fraternal organizations face today. Life is definitely not the same and I feel it is Masonry's job to keep seeking the formula to retain and increase Masonic membership.

I have listed below differences in everyday life in 1905 versus todays hectic pace of 2006. Here are some amazing statistics regarding the population of the United States in 1906.

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years old.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union. The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 Cents per hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist made $2,500 per year, a veterinarian $1,500 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo. Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were: 1. Pneumonia and influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." ( Shocking? ) There were about 230 reported Murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

Today as I write this blog, I sent these statistics to you and others all over the United States, possibly the world, in a matter of just Seconds !.. You can see that life was sure different and our brotherhood has work to do to retain and increase membership as so much can be done from home and news and information can be obtained by hitting a few keys on the computer. We have to show that Masonry is more, much more to men who possess the values and ideals that make Masonry what it is.

The bottom line is that Masonry is a gift unto itself and those who already know that enjoy the rewards and benefits of what Masonry can accomplish. Our goal in 2006 is to embrace those who seek more light regarding our fraternity and to make sure they get the right information and true aim of what Masonry is all about and not what they may read or hear by people who use the modern tools to spread misinformation regarding our craft.

In closing although 2B1ASK1 is our motto, once asked, it is our duty to make sure potential candidates get all information and assistance to enter the craft. In todays world, if they don't get true guidance by the Brothers, they may turn to the modern conveniences and get misinformation and erroneous direction. We, as Masons must make sure that doesn't happen.



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