more 1910s

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1910s Products,
Technology & Careers


Consumer Products use during the 1910s

health & beauty

dental health
hog-hair bristle toothbrushes
Colgate Dental Cream

overall health
Dr. Bell's Pine-Tar-Honey
Beecham's Pills
Hall's Catarrh Cure
Scott's Emulsion
Chichester's Pills For Ladies

Beatsall Hand Soap

cosmetics & hair care
Nivea skin cream (1911)
Jurgens lotion
Parker's Hair Balsam
Cidic Cucumber Cream Compound
Pompeiian Night Cream

-----food & drink

meals, snacks & staples
Kellogg's Toasted Corn Flakes
Post Toasties
Grape-Nuts cereal
Quaker Oats
Crisco (1911)
Hellman's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise (1912)
Mikesell's Potato Chips (1910)
Uneeda Biscuits
Ceresota Flour
Chicken Of The Sea tuna (1914)
Morton Salt (1912)
Holsum Bread
Kraft processed cheese (1917)

desserts & candy
Marshmallow Fluff (1917)
Wheat's Ice Cream
Jell-O Ice Cream Powder
Oreo cookies (1912)
Cracker Jack
Life Savers candy (1912)
Chiclets gum
Clark Bar (1911)
Brach's candy
N.B.C. Graham Crackers

Hires Root Beer
Dr. Pepper
Orange Crush


other products
Hall Brothers greeting cards (1916)
steel-nibbed dipping pens
Bon Ami cleansing powder
Rinso laundry detergent (1918)
Health Kups*Dixie Cups
men's wristwatches
fountain pens
Fels-Naphtha laundry soap
Prince Albert tobacco
colored gift wrap (1917)



Coca-Cola was first sold as a fountain drink in 1886, and was first bottled in 1894. In 1915, the company introduced their famous contoured hobble skirt bottle design.

Antique Coke Bottles
The History Of Gift Wrap
Hallmark History
The Camels Are Coming

In the 1910s, gifts were wrapped with brown paper or tissue paper. Occasionally, you could find tissue paper with solid colors or printed patterns, but usually white was used. This all changed in 1917 when the Hall Brothers Store in Kansas City ran out of tissue paper right before Christmas. Thinking quickly, the owners put some fancy envelope lining papers on sale for ten cents a sheet. When it sold out, they knew they had a potential goldmine. The Hall Brothers Company added printed wrapping paper to their new line of greeting cards.

Needless to say, both the greeting cards and gift wrap sold extremely well. This was due to good salesmanship and the fact that picture postcards without envelopes were falling out of favor as the decade came to a close. In 1928, this company would become Hallmark.

Potato chips were invented at Saratoga Springs in 1853. They were known as saratoga chips and were served only in restaurants until the 1890s. Grocery stores started selling them in 1895. In the 1910s, they were becoming known as potato chips and were sold in tins or dispensed from bulk containers.

"A prize in every box"....In 1910, a box of Cracker Jack came with a coupon inside, which could be redeemed for a prize. In 1912, the company started putting actual prizes in the boxes.

Before the 1910s, cigarette smokers were definitely in the minority when it came to tobacco use. For the upper classes, cigar and pipe smoking carried more prestige. Less-refined men favored chewing tobacco. Before cigarettes were manufactured by machine, consumers either rolled their own or bought an expensive hand-made brand.

In the 1880s, the first factory-made cigarettes were produced. These tailor mades helped launch a cigarette craze, and by the 1900s cigarette smoking was a national issue. Concerned citizens formed anti-smoking groups, women were arrested for smoking in public, and government officials attempted to pass anti-smoking legislation. 15 states had a ban on cigarette sales in 1909, and it looked like the anti-smoking forces were winning.

In the 1910s, the tide began to turn the other way. Anti-smoking groups were ridiculed and anti-smoking laws were repealed. The introduction of the first book matches in 1912 made smoking easier than ever. The first modern, nationally-advertised brands went on sale during this decade....Camels, Chesterfields and Lucky Strikes.

Then came World War I. Cigarettes were handed out to the soldiers as part of their rations, and anyone who opposed this practice was labeled a traitor. A whole generation of young men came back from the war addicted to cigarettes.


At Work

Employee lunch room at the
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1910

working hours
In the 1800s, most workers were on the job six days a week, 12 hours a day. After the turn of the century, the 10-hour day began to replace the 12-hour day. In the 1910s, workers set their sights on an 8-hour day. Some employers were also making Saturday a half-day.

By 1917, there were laws in 39 states limiting the length of the workday. Despite all this, the 12-hour day was still a reality for 40 percent of the work force.

benefits & retirement
In 1912, Maryland passed the first workman's compensation law. In this system, employers and employees contributed to a fund that provided insurance against job injuries. Retirement was becoming a viable option for more workers, as their financial situations improved and they learned to plan for the future. Because of this, the number of working men over age 65 decreased 9 percent between 1870 and 1920.

In the 1910s, workers also campaigned for overtime pay and time off on legal holidays. A majority of employers were already granting their workers paid time off each year. Quite often, entire factories shut down for a week or two, and the employees all took their vacations at the same time.

----- wages
child in textile mill.................$3.54/week
girl in sweatshop...................$8.76/week
meat packer............................$9.50/week

Ford auto worker, 1913............$2.00/day
Ford auto worker, 1914............$5.00/day

After Henry Ford installed his assembly line in 1914, workers quit their boring and monotonous new jobs in droves. Ford instituted a $5.00 per day wage as an incentive for them to stay. This higher wage drove wages up all across the country.

average salary, 1912................$592/year
average salary, 1914................$627/year
average salary, 1916................$708/year

child labor
In the 1800s, some states tried to outlaw child labor, but were unsuccessful. In the 1900s, the progressive movement tackled the issue, and by 1914 every state had some form of child labor law. While these laws didn't eliminate child labor, they did put restrictions on it. In addition to needing a valid work permit, most kids had to reach a certain age or attain a certain level of education before they could work.

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