View Full Version : The World Nearly A Century Ago

Thursday, October 7th, 2004, 09:19 PM
The World Nearly A Century Ago (http://nowtranslations.com/world_100_years_ago.htm)

Cigarette companies, especially in Britain, used to put out beautiful sets of collectors cards, covering everything from birds to battleships, flowers to flying machines. NOW Translations obtained the "Time and Money in Different Countries," distributed by the W.D. and H.O. Wills company, from a source in the UK and we're glad we did. They're old and yellowing a bit, but overall in good shape and immensely entertaining to read, so we'd like to share them with you.

This is the world in 1908. For the most part, it looked like the sleepy town at right. The perspective is that of the great power on the globe at the time: England. All of the text is UK-centric and sees the world from the perch of Empire, where the sun never set on the Union Jack. You'll notice a number of things as you read.

We maintained the English spellings as they are in the cards; so too, the spelling of place names, so the capitol of Japan, "Tokio," is not a typo.

Some things will jar you. You'll see a single entry for "Africa," and wonder, "that's it?"; in reality this only refers to The Sudan; there are other African entries, just as you'd expect.

Place names have changed much over the decades as have who's allied with whom, colonialism, and the settling of "territories."

While the people in these graphics may look like they're in traditional native "costumes," for the most part, circa 1908, they are not. This was their daily dress.

This was written long before Political Correctness so don't expect any. On the other hand, the British then, as now, were fascinated by people, places, and customs which were foreign to them and that comes across in a way that a PC conscious writer would avoid.

The "American Century" took a while to get started. Note that Switzerland had an army over twice as large as that of the US!

It's strange to see that while this is published by a tobacco company, today's perceived Public Enemy Number One, few people are actually seen smoking!

Tribunale Dei Minore
Saturday, October 9th, 2004, 01:04 AM
A century ago Europe was about 30% of World's population and still a dominating power. Today even China alone has more political influence than the whole EU.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004, 12:03 AM
It must have been something nice to be able to travel then and see all the people in their various different wears rather then head to toe Nike? from here to wherever... instead of in a museum or just reenacting some old dances in funny costumes for some tourists or whatever (not to mention the myriad other changes, but the visual impact must have been very striking). I didn't really consider how big of a difference that would make 'till viewing these....