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What Did People Die From Back in the Dawn of the 20th Century?
Posted by: KFCA ()
Date: March 25, 2016 08:10PM

I believe I mentioned previously that our City Library has, among many other things, bound books with the actual death certificates of our area's citizens going back to the late 1880ties up through the year 1904. Out of curiousity, I spent over an hour recently going through just one of those books. I, out of hand, chose the book with last names starting with "R", and for the first three months of the year "1900".

There were several "accidental" deaths---people falling off of or being hit by wagons, home fires, falls from trees & houses, etc. There were a surprising number of suicides, almost always men in their 40ties.

As to illnesses, for babies & young children, the causes were usually pneumonia, typhoid & other fevers, meningitis, infections (one sad lad died from a cut he got from a tin toy he received from the previous Christmas), influenza.

Among the older adults, clearly TB was a big killer, along with "heart problems". Stomach cancer, as cause of death, turned up frequently, and I ran into several cases of breast cancer with women in their 30ties & 40ties. I ran into only a few people who died in those 3 months that were over age 75. Ages 40 to 50 seemed the common death years for those who survived childhood...at least who died here during Jan. Feb. & March of 1900.

It was interesting & I'll have to do that again sometime for years prior to 1900.

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Re: What Did People Die From Back in the Dawn of the 20th Century?
Posted by: HH ()
Date: March 28, 2016 06:10PM

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: What Did People Die From Back in the Dawn of the 20th Century?
Posted by: Ifeelgood ()
Date: April 05, 2016 01:48PM

[demography.cpc.unc.edu]

This article has a lot of statistics about how times have changed. Interestingly, heart disease was the cause of death that changed the least (although it did increase).

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