Monday, November 15, 2010

People from the 19th century

I was just thinking this morning that soon there will be no living people from the 19th century. I was wondering how many people born before 1900 were still living. A little research (very little) on wikipedia showed this article. I can't be certain how comprehensive this article is but based on this, I would guess there are around 20 people left who were born before 1900. On the oldest men list there are only 2 born before 1900 although technically 1900 was still the 19th century, the 20th century did not start until 1/1/1901. I don't know why there is not an oldest women list in this article. The top 10 oldest list consists of people born in 1896 and 1897.

Within the next 5 years perhaps sooner this will drop to zero. I wonder if there were any people before the 21st century who managed to live in 3 different centuries (19th, 20th, 21st). If so I can't imagine it was a large number. My grandparents were all born between 1905 and 1911 and died prior to 2000. All my great grandparents would have been born in the 19th century, probably in the 1870's and 1880's. The last of my great grandparents died in 1970. The 21st century has had its adjustments but my great grandparents went from being able to go to the nearest town and back in a day to being able to go across the country and back in a day. They went from 10 or 15 years removed from slavery being legal to Martin Luther King and the 1960's civil rights movement.

Pretty soon there will be on one who remembers a world before cars and airplanes. A world where most countries were their own little worlds unto themselves. That will be a great loss.

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites