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1848 VS Now

By Haylee Allen

There are many differences in our world between today and 1848. There was no internet, no smartphones, and no cars in 1848. People communicated through letters and telegraphs, news traveled much more slowly than it does today. The world in 1848 was also much less connected, with countries often still ruled by monarchs or emperors.

Today we live in a much more internet connected world. The internet has made it possible for people to communicate instantly with each other, no matter where they are in the world. Social media has also made it easier for people to stay connected with each other, and to share news and information. Having cars and airplanes made it possible for people to travel quickly, easily and for goods to be transported across long distances.

A big change since 1848 is housing itself. Today our housing is fancy and has many technological advancements like electric appliances, heated garage floor/driveways and fancy built in fireplaces. These advances have slowly changed over the years, but the change is very significant.

In 1848 the houses were made out of wood. Carpenters framed housing with balloon framing which is stud walls that extend to the foundation all the way to the roof. The houses were not very big. There was no electricity back then. The first electric power station was not built until the 1880’s. Before that people used candles, oil lamps, and gas lamps for lighting. Today our electricity is the source for almost everything. The electricity is distributed through power lines to give electricity to homes and businesses. The electricity provides a source of light, heating, cooling, and powering appliances.

Another change in housing is the plumbing. In 1848 there was no plumbing in houses. People relied on outdoor wells or pumps for their water supply. Waste was often disposed of in outhouses or privies, and there was no sewer system to carry away waste. Some wealthy homes had indoor plumbing, but it was still relatively uncommon. Today indoor plumbing is common in most houses and businesses. Houses are typically connected to a water supply, which provides clean and safe drinking water. Waste is carried away through a sewer system. Plumbing systems in modern homes typically have pipes for hot water and cold water, as well as drains for waste.

The big change is refrigeration in home kitchens. In 1848, refrigeration technology was not available in homes. People used a variety of methods to preserve foods, including salting, smoking and drying. They also used ice boxes which are wooden or metal containers lined with tin zinc and insulated with sawdust, cork, or straw. Ice was delivered to homes and businesses by ice wagons and people would place the ice into the ice box to keep food and drinks cold. Today our refrigeration is much more advanced than the past. Most businesses and homes use refrigeration to keep items cold and from spoiling. The refrigerators now can make ice cubes in just seconds to have ice water. They are much more efficient and can keep food longer without them spoiling. We also have walk-in freezers that can hold large quantities of food and beverages.

While housing has changed significantly since 1848, homes built in this year are still around today, just updated. There are many ways that housing is still similar with the wood structures, having fireplaces, but modern updates over time have led to much more efficient and comfortable way of living.

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