Could Your Kid Survive Life 100 Years Ago?

Our kids have it so tough today don’t they? I bet very few could have survived life 100 years ago.


Getting up early to do chores. This is not so dated, some farm kids still do this even now, but 100 years ago technology wasn’t so good and chores took a lot longer in the mornings. 100 years ago more kids lived in situations that saw them getting up early and helping with morning chores. Todays kid complains about having to feed the family dog, the one they probably begged their parent to get.

Walking a mile to school. Both ways, even in winter. Sure some kids had horses to take them to school but that wasn’t so easy either as it took time for the kids to get the horses ready to go in the mornings. Very few kids would have had drivers (as in the picture below), most had to ride or drive the horse themself.  A mile was considered a short distance, some kids had to walk much further, and often had to walk alone. Todays kids expect to be driven to the end of the block to visit their friend. Older kids expect their own cars.

winter fantasy by Nancee_art. 

100 Years ago kids were lucky if they had a ball and a set of domino’s. Todays kid finds domino’s boring and demands an Xbox and iPod.

You had to find your own entertainment when traveling 100 years ago. Today some of our kids think they are hard done by if the vehicle they travel in is not equipped with a television and air conditioning.

100 Years ago kids shared rooms, sometimes even with their parents, especially in winter when it was cold. Todays kid will only share their bedroom with a television and computer.

Telephones were pretty much only used by adults 100 years ago. Plus you had to actually dial by moving a finger in a clockwise motion. Todays child not only knows how to use one push button speed dial to reach their friends, many have their own cell phone, or better communication equipment.

Old telephone by macinate.

100 Years ago if you wanted clean dishes you actually had to wash them by hand. Sometimes even in water you had to heat yourself over a fire! Today asking a kid to empty the dishwasher brings such cries of anguish you’d think we asked them to move a mountain.

Vacations were unheard of. Trains, and boats, were the best known forms of transportation and holidays were more to visit families left when people migrated to other parts. They certainly did not take place yearly, and most families were lucky to go on a trip every ten years. Today kids think if they don’t get to go to Disney every year their life will grind to a halt.

Valley Railroad Steam Engine, Essex CT by Professor Bop.

Back then taking a warm shower or bath might have happened once a week, if you were lucky. Water was often collected from wells or in tanks from what came off the roof in a rain. It had to be heated, and often baths were shared or taken in turn in the same water, with only a bucket of warm water added between bathers. Todays kid must wash their hair at daily or they will die of embarrassment.

100 years ago vaccinations were not available for many childhood diseases and it was not uncommon for children to die before their fifth birthday. So while todays kids moan about getting needles, indeed a good many would not have survived life only 100 years ago.

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  1. nice one

  2. Wow! this is a very unique and interesting post! I enjoyed reading it thanks :)

  3. A very interesting article.

  4. I love your writes….I try to live as simple as possible being from a big city….and, people think that’s weird :/ lol….simple is better…though I wouldn’t trade in the heat on this cold day….hard work is good I believe….builds character, etc. … video games rule these days….but, I refuse to let things like that take over my life, or living….Thanks for sharing….

  5. You’re right. No modern kid could pull it off for more than a week…neither could this old man.

  6. A very interesting Article Good !!!

  7. Great post, Brenda. My children were mad because I wouldn’t buy them a cellphone when they were teens. I can’t imagine what they would have done if they had to walk to school uphill both ways. LOL.

  8. This article reminded me of my Grandpa!

  9. Very interesting topic!

  10. Thanks. I found this because I was searching for “health 100 years ago”. I want to know what medical advances there have been in the last 100 years. But your article was interesting nonetheless. Im sure a similar article will be written 100 years from now pointing out the same advances and how our current life will be considered “primal” in 100 years from now. The cycle never stops

  11. This is interesting :) thanks you.
    I was searching for “Children’s life in the past 100 years”
    and i found this article. It’s really helpful. :D

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