In history: 1910-1920

1910: Halley’s comet. China abolishes slavery. Thomas Edison demonstrates

"talkie" movies. In Seattle, Washington women win vote. Aviator Charles

Hamilton flies first heavier-than-air flight here. Union Pacific arrives.

1910: Halley’s comet. China abolishes slavery. Thomas Edison demonstrates

"talkie" movies. In Seattle, Washington women win vote. Aviator Charles

Hamilton flies first heavier-than-air flight here. Union Pacific arrives.

1911: Roald Amundsen first to South Pole. In Seattle, Port of Seattle created.

Broadway High grad Arthur Freed opens music shop, later becomes

Hollywood producer of "Singin’ in the Rain" in 1940s.

1912: Woodrow Wilson elected president. Titanic sinks. Geologist Aldred

Wegener proposes continental-drift theory. In Seattle, bill posters organize,

halibut fishermen strike, miners locked out. Grace Presbyterian Church

founded, joining Mount Zion Baptist Church as centers for black community.

1913: Panama Canal opens. Sixteenth and 17th constitutional amendments

create income tax and Federal Reserve system. In Seattle, NAACP chapter

formed. First auto ferry, Leschi, tested.

1914: Black South Africans protest white land grab. Nine million Japanese

starve. In Seattle, Nellie Cornish, Boston-trained music teacher, founds

Cornish School. Ahavath Ahim (Jewish) congregation founded. West Seattle’s

Youngstown steel-mill strike.

1915: Ocean liner Lusitania sinks. D.W. Griffith’s film "Birth of a Nation"

opens. Somerset Maugham’s book "Of Human Bondage" published. In

Seattle, Herbert Munter builds first airplane on Harbor Island. Coliseum, first

American grand movie palace, opens. Longshoremen, ship workers, road

workers strike.

1916: Wilson re-elected. Mexican Pancho Villa loses at Chihuahua. Easter

Sunday Irish patriot uprising. Author Jack London dies. Montana’s Jeannette

Rankin, formerly active in Seattle social services, is first U.S. congresswoman.

Boeing launches Aero Products Co., later The Boeing Co.

1917: U.S. enters World War I. Bolshevik revolution. In Seattle, Lake

Washington Ship Canal opens. In addition to other strikes, building trades

strike construction jobs to protest lumber from mills with 10 hour shifts.

1918: War ends in armistice. World flu pandemic. In Seattle, railway terminals

consolidate, ending travel chaos.

1919: Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata killed. First atoms "split." In

Seattle, Boeing and pilot Eddie Hubbard deliver first international air mail to

Vancouver, B.C. City acquires streetcar system.

the movement to ban liquor grew from the temperance movement out West,

where alcoholism and lawlessness were rampant after the Civil War and Gold

Rush days. In 1874, the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement formed

to combine religious fervor with the fight against liquor.


5,000 suffragists march in Washington, D.C. for the women’s rights movement.


A petition with 500,000 signatures in support of women’s suffrage amendment is given to President Woodrow Wilson.

Despite its novelty and its rudimentary audio quality, the telephone

took a quick and fierce hold on American society, and soon became

a necessity.

The first telephone operators were boys, who soon earned a

reputation for being rude and abusive to each other as well as to the

customers. The young women who replaced them did not swear and

were said to be faster, and by 1910, New York Telephone had

6,000 women working on its switchboards. While the telephone

joined teaching in finally bringing significant numbers of women into

the workplace, there were rigid codes of dress and conduct the

women had to follow. "You could only use certain phrases —

‘Number please’ and ‘Thank you,’" recalls a former operator,

98-year-old Marie McGrath. "The customer could say anything they

wanted to you, and you would say, ‘Thank you.’"

By 1915, the wiring of America was complete. In an undertaking as

monumental as the construction of the trans-American railroad,

AT&T strung 14,000 miles of copper wire across the country.

Thirty-nine years after the first demonstration of telephone, the

68-year-old Bell was summoned by AT&T to New York to

recreate his first call — this time calling his friend and partner

Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1908 Model T

Car maker Henry Ford introduces his Model T automobile. By

1927, when it is discontinued, 15.5 million Models T’s will be sold in

the U.S. Ford owes much of his success to his improved assembly

line process, which by 1913 will produce a complete Model T every

93 minutes.

1911 Self Starter

Charles F. Kettering, who developed the electric cash register while

working at National Cash Register, sells his electric automobile

starters to the Cadillac company. This device increases the

popularity of the gasoline-powered car, which no longer needs to be

started with a hand crank.

1914 Panama Canal

After 36 years’ labor, the bankruptcy of thousands of investors, and

the deaths of more than 25,000 men, the Panama Canal is finished.

The canal cuts the sailing distance from the East Coast to the West

Coast by more than 8,000 miles.

1917 War

U.S. troops arrive on the battlefields of Europe, where new

technologies have created the bloodiest conflict in history. Armored

tanks, machine guns, poisonous gas, submarines and airplanes will

force military commanders to rethink traditional strategies of war.

1919 Hydrofoil

Alexander Grahams Bell’s "Hydrodome IV" sets a world record of

70 mph for water travel. The boat weighs over 10,000 pounds and

uses underwater fins to raise the hull of the boat and decrease drag

between the hull and the water.

Researched by Wilbur Bush