More than seven million telephones, most of them rented to customers by AT&T, are in use in the United States in 1910.
Most businesses find it nearly impossible to survive without the telephone. People find it convenient and efficient to talk directly and immediately to each other rather than sending messages or letters by hand or post.
The daily lives of workers in all industries are changing significantly: an eight-hour workday is becoming the standard unit of measure for labor.
The general level of education in the United States is increasing: in 1910, there are ten thousand high schools in the United States, compared to five hundred high schools in 1870.
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified in 1913, giving Congress the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes.
World War I begins in 1914 and ends in 1918.
The plight of urban office workers becomes a focus for writers and artists. In 1917, Sinclair Lewis writes The Job: An American Novel about a young woman entering the world of business and the resulting conflict between marriage and career.
In 1919, American women gain the right to vote.
This material was generously provided by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
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