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Technology in 1918

things were different


As many in the Boston area (and beyond) know, the Boston Red Sox clinched a World Series championship in Boston last night for the first time since 1918 (when news of the victory would not reach the rest of the nation instantaneously on Twitter).

What was going on at BC and in the world of technology and communications nearly 100 years ago?

  • In October 1918, Boston College enrollment was 125 students, down from 671 in 1916 due to the World War I draft.
  • Although the telegraph was invented in 1843, it was still the primary means of communication.
  • Telephones existed, but they were expensive and uncommon.
  • People wrote letters. By hand!
  • Commercial radio was not yet available.
  • You could by a Ford Model T for about $450. A speedometer was not standard equipment.
  • It would be another 17 years before a night game would be played in the big leagues. Fenway didn’t have lights until 1947.
  • People were already flocking to movie theaters, although “talkies” weren’t widespread until the 1920s.