A Look Back To Downtown Smithfield In 1909

It’s 1909.  The American flag has 45 stars, the average life expectancy is 47 years, there are only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads in the US. Fuel for cars is only sold in drug stores, the maximum speed limit in Smithfield is 10 mph, only 14 percent of homes have a bathtub, most woman wash their hair only once per month and use egg yolks for shampoo.

Only 8 percent of homes have a telephone, the tallest structure in the world is the Eiffel Tower, the average wage is 22 cents per hour, the average worker earns $300 per year, more than 95 percent of children are born at home to married parents, 90 percent of all doctors have no college education, sugar is 4 cents a pound, eggs are 14 cents a dozen, and coffee is 15 cents a pound.

The population of Las Vegas is 30, there is no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, 2 out of 10 adults can’t read or write, only 6 percent of Americans graduate from high school, marijuana and heroin is sold over the counter at drug stores, there were only 230 murders in the entire country, 95 percent of the taxes we have now did not exist and this is the corner of Third and Johnston Streets in Downtown Smithfield. Originally contributed by Carter Rabil in 2009