The truth behind the “Good Old Days”
LIfe 100 years ago was a NIGHTMARE!
The “good old days” weren’t really so good – in fact, they were
absolutely miserable, according to historians. “The men and women
of 100 years ago should be pitied, not envied,” declared Dr. Otto L.
Bettmann, author of THE GOOD OLD DAYS – THEY WERE TERRIBLE!
The problems of a century ago included INTENSE POLLUTION,
nightmarish traffic congestion, nutritionally poor diet, rampant
disease and other woes, said Dr. Bettmann.
“With today’s city streets clogged with automobiles, the vision of
a horse and buggy produces strong nostalgia. But it shouldn’t.”
“Runaway horses were common. The havoc killed thousands of people.
According to the National Safety Council, the horse-associated
fatality rate was 10 times today’s car-associated rate. Three
million horses were kept in American cities at the beginning of the
20th century, and each horse produced about 25 pounds of MANURE EACH
Swarms of flies abounded, and stables on every block filled with
URINE-SATURATED HAY added to the stench.
Food was terrible, too, Dr. Bettmann added. “Food was tampered
with. For example, to improve the color of milk from diseased
cattle, they frequently ADDED PLASTER OF PARIS.
“Bakers preserved their dough with doses of alum and sulphur of
copper. Customers were continually enraged to discover CHUNKS OF
FOREIGN MATTER in their loaves, such as oven ash and grit.”
Dwellings were substandard and domestic chores difficult, he added.
“Almost no homes had running water, so people SELDON BATHED. Cooking
was a monumental task. And laundry was physically punishing labor
because no washing machines or ‘miracle’ detergents existed.”
“Apartment houses were often dismal – with vile privies, dirt-filled
sinks, slop oozing down stairwells and plumbing pipes pockmarked
with holes that emitted foul, flammable sewer gases. The threat of
diphtheria, smallpox, typhoid and yellow fever was widespread.”
Concluded Dr. Bettmann; “Compared to the people of 100 years ago,
we’re very, very lucky!”