Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the Span of a Lifetime

My last post got me to thinking of all the changes in technology that my grandmother saw in the span of her lifetime.  She was born in 1904 to a farm family in Northeastern Iowa.  Born into a horse & buggy age, where the land was still worked by horses.  She passed away in 1980 so just think of all the things she saw in her lifetime.
My grandmother, Irene Lindroth DeSotel on the right when she was about 3 or 4 years old.

These are my great-grandparents, Frank & Lucy Lindroth.  I am the one on Lucy's lap and my cousin Cindy is on Frank's lap.  My mother always spoke very highly of grandmother Lucy and was very close to her.  I don't remember her as she passed away not long after this photo was taken. I do remember my great grandfather Lindroth.  They were parents of the 2 little girls in the photo above.  This photo was taken 60 years ago probably pretty close to today's date.  My where does the time go?

My grandmother in her lifespan saw (1904 - 1980) the following things:
1) Electricity being brought into homes.
2) Automobile becoming the mode for transportation
3) Telephones
4) Running water being brought into all homes
5) The space age and men walking on the moon
6) The beginning of the computer age
7) The end of the country doctor making house calls and the modern medical system
8) The end of the scourge polio and vaccination
9) Discovery of penicillin and antibiotics
10) Airplanes and Jet Planes
11) The end of widespread passenger railroad system
12) Dishwashing machines
13) Automated washing machines
14) Refrigerators for the home

I'm sure there are more but I cannot think of them right now.  How about you?

Things I've seen in MY Lifetime --
1) The Desktop computer and laptop computer
2) Cellphones and the iphone
3) The end of the rotary phone and also the end of operators and party lines
4) Electric cars
5) The assassination of a president - John F. Kennedy
6) The space shuttle Columbia blowing up
7) 911 and Terrorism in the United States
8) Microwave ovens

Let me know what you think are some of the most significant changes in your lifetime.

I find I also dislike some technology.  My alarm clock is a wind-up just like they had when I was born. Course sometimes I forget to wind it or I am gone so then I simply look at the time on microwave or my cellphone!!  I like to hear it ticking on my bedside was I fall asleep.  I find that sound very soothing.

Added to the List by Readers:
9) Color Television - Nancy
10) GPS - Nancy (both great additions) 
11) Central Heating - Susie Q
12) Digital Cameras - Sharon


  1. I think you can add color television and the transistor radio to your list as well as the GPS.

  2. Yep you are right both changed the way we live. The GPS units are great in Denver! Couldn't live without it.

  3. Hi Merideth, central heating, certainly in my lifetime. I remember as a toddler there being fires in every room, including the bedrooms where I grew up and falling asleep in my bed watching the embers of the fire die through the fire guard. Waking up in the morning with the house really cold and rushing to put on your clothes while you were still warm from bed! Also ice forming on the inside of the windowpanes because it was cold. Now we have central heating on all the time when its cold. Susie

  4. Enjoy your blog. I don't know how to drive in snow and ice and admire you who do! Interesting geneology stories, also.

  5. I enjoy my ice maker..a big improvement from filling your own ice cube trays..or getting blocks of ice for the ice box:)

  6. This is a topic I think about often. Indeed, it's sort of the theme, in some ways, of my Lex Anteinternet blog.

    I hear so often from people that things change so fast, but I don't think the pace of change now is anything like it was prior to World War Two. If we think about it, as you have here, and consider what changed in our grandparents' times, its staggering. The pace of change in nearly everything was blistering. . .transportation, communication, etc., it's mind boggling.