What was it like to live in the United States when it was just one hundred years old, and when the industrial revolution had just begun to change people's lives?
Suzanne Hilton has dug into old records, letters, newspapers, and magazine accounts, ads, and children's diaries to discover the details about everyday living--in the country and in the city, at school and at home, on a vacation and at work. She takes the reader on a magic carpet of facts into the year 1876.
Furnaces, gaslights, and indoor plumbing had arrived, but families still arranged their lives around sunup and sundown. Chores took most of a child's time; games and entertainments were scarce; and few books were publised just for children. People did most of their own doctoring, often with patent medicines that contained habit-forming narcotics.
The year 1876 turned out to be a very special year because the country was excited about its Centennial. Thousands of people jammed into Philadelphia for the big exposition. They gawked at the parts of the Statue of Liberty that had just arrived from France; they tried the new drink-- the ice cream soda; they rubbed shoulders, for perhaps the first time, with all sorts of different people.
The Exposition introduced dozens of new marvels to the country: the telephone, electricity, playgrounds, linoleum, small pox vaccine, the cancan, and the monorail called the Prismoidal Railway-- that may yet turn out to be the transportation of the future.
Every reader -- from eight to eighty -- will be fascinated to see and feel the way life was, just a hundred years ago, in the pages and the pictures of this engrossing book.