Most of the begining tools that our pioneers used were hand made. often the pioneer made his own tools from what resources were available. Gords were used as storage containers. Buckets were made of wood bound by rings of vines. There were no nails, fasteners, screws, nuts or bolts. A few metal things were made by a blacksmith.



Remember the Ice box. The iceman put a block of ice in the ice compartment (freezer) and the rest of the cabinet was kept cold. Under it was a pan to collect the melted icewater. If you came up on at night in your bare feet and the icewater pan was overflowing you had a rude freezing shock to your feet.


The above was a rich man's tub. Most folks had a big galvanized tub just big enough to sit in. First the father took his bath, then the mother, then each child. All of this was done with the same water. Then of course the kids had to empty it outside.

Washing was done first in a local stream. heating water in a big pot outside.. The clothes were stirred and poked by a wash stick. Also note that clothes got pretty vile with lice, insects and no toilet paper used by most people. Usually the water was brought to a boil or at least very hot. Some clothes were made from wook which had its own washing problems. Later a washing board was used when washing was done inside along with various tubs some of which were semi automated to agitate the clothing. Later ringers were added. Much later after the washing machine was invented in 1914 and electricity came in, electric washing machines made their ways into sheds and homes.

The Light bulb meant we could have safe lighting. They replaced stinky and very dangerous oil lamps and candles. Edison in 1880 invented the long lasting filament and an entire lighting system. Others had worked on light bulbs since 1800. In our area lighting came in around 1910.

Signal Flags offered communication over distance as did the use of on off lights

The Telegraph Samuel F. B. Morse conceived of an electromagnetic telegraph in 1832 and constructed an experimental version in 1835. He did not construct a truly practical system until 1844, when he built a line from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.

The Telephone. Wikipedia states "Credit for the invention of the electric telephone is frequently disputed, and new controversies over the issue have arisen from time-to-time. As with other great inventions such as radio, television, light bulb, and computer, there were several inventors who did pioneering experimental work on voice transmission over a wire and improved on each other's ideas. Innocenzo Manzetti, Antonio Meucci, Johann Philipp Reis, Elisha Gray, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison, among others, have all been credited with pioneering work on the telephone. An undisputed fact is that Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be awarded a patent for the electric telephone by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March 1876.[1] That first patent by Bell was the master patent of the telephone, from which all other patents for electric telephone devices and features flowed."

1909 Western Electric Phone

Radio. From Wikipedia. After a long history of inventins and improvements beginning in 1820 the Detroit station that became WWJ began program broadcasts beginning on August 20, 1920. Soon there were radios en every home. First there was the crystal set.


Television The first licensed stations began in Michigan in 1947


The computer. Beginning about 1640 many people learned and invented components that eventualy became part of modern computers. Work progressed and electronic computers emerged in the 1940s. The Harvard Mark 1 began in 1944. This was followed by many huge machines. On April 7, 1964, IBM introduces the System/360. While a technical marvel, the main feature of this machine is business oriented. In 1975 the first personal computer is marketed in kit form. The Altair features 256 bytes of memory. Bill Gates, with others, writes a BASIC compiler for the machine. The next year Apple begins to market PC's, also in kit form. It includes a monitor and keyboard. The earliest RISC platforms become stable. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth goes on-line with the first royal email message. By 1977 stores begin to sell Personal Computers. IBM introduced it's PC in 1981 Radio Shack had its #1. In 1982 Commodore brought out the Vic20 with 3 k of ram, then the Commodore 64 with 64K of ram. Texas Instruments, sinclare and Apple, and atari were selling computers.

1893 electric irons were the first commonly available electric appliance but not here.

1890 18.9% of all women worked outside the home. 40.5% of single women were in the paid labor force, but just 4.6% of married women worked outside the home.

1900 Sewing needles could be bought at the general store.

1900  Among American women, 20.6% worked in the paid labor force. 43.5% of unmarried women held jobs; 5.6% of married women worked outside the home. Among wage-earning women in America, 50% were either farmhands or domestic servants.

1900 Two wheel bicycles were beginning to be popular

1904 tractor, 1904 ice-cream cones

The sewing machine did not need electricity. It saved women countless hours of time over hand sewing.

1908 Model T Automobile (see page on autos)

1916 Radio tuner,  1908 first electric vacuum cleaner for home use

Ladies the bra was invented by Mary Jacob in 1913.  These replaced corsets, before that take your best guess.

1914 electric washing machine

Cooking was first done outside over a fire. Later hanging pots were added.

Then the fire was moved inside when a good fireplace was built.

This was folowed by the wood stove.

This was followed by the Gas then electric stoves.

Families first dried food then started canning.

1914 canneries produced many food products in tin cans

1916 refrigerator cost $900 then by 1920 10,000 were sold, by  1925 75,000 were sold.

1910 Center Line and Warren soon had electricity and phones

So When did fast food come to our area? There were a few hamburger places around including drive ins such as A&W on Van Dyke at toepher, Big Boy on Van Dyke. Ronnies on VanDyke just S of 11 Mile Road. Around 1960. Peppies at 12 Mile and Van Dyke and MacDonalds at 11 1/4 Mile and Van Dyke opened. That was followed by Hardies, Arbys, Roy Rogers, Jack in the Box.