What was invented over 100 years ago that we can't live without today? There must hundreds or even thousands of items. When I asked myself that question while developing The Ellis Island Series, I came up with a couple of things. In Grace's Pictures it's the introduction of the first personal, easy to use, camera, the Brownie. For the first time folks could snap photographs of anything and you did not have to be in a studio.
In my second book, Annie's Stories, it's the publication of the children's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This was the first truly American fairy tale, and it was different, more adventurous and fun.
But there are many other things. What about the vacuum cleaner? We take them for granted now, but think about trying to get the dirt out of your house without one--beating rugs outside, sweeping on hands and knees. Makes me want to sneeze.
The subway. If you live in New York City or have ever been there, try to imagine moving all those people about on narrow streets, or on elevated trains that permanently shadowed some neighborhoods. The noise! The smell! Not to mention how long it would take to move up and down Manhattan.
You probably do appreciate electricity, especially when you experience an outage. But what about some electric appliances like the iron. Imagine heating an iron on a stove before using it. I know, some of you don't iron at all, but imagine life before permanent press fabrics! Hanging a garment to release the wrinkles just did not happen.
Your turn. What invention invented over 100 years ago do you still appreciate today?
Cindy Thomson is the author of a new novel featuring an Irish immigrant to Ellis Island, Grace’s Pictures. The follow-up novel, Annie’s Stories, will release in 2014. She is also the author of Celtic Wisdom and Brigid of Ireland. She enjoys exploring Irish history. She has written numerous articles on Irish genealogy. Visit her where you can sign up for her monthly newsletter. Subscribers will see her newest cover first in the next issue! Or find her on or or !