Shocking Photos of Past Generations Show How Different Life Is Today

Weird History | August 2, 2019

Written by Jacob Shelton

Some economists claim that it’s the best time to be alive. People have access to everything they want and happiness comes at the push of a button, or more accurately the tap of a touch screen. The economy has been on a 30 year upswing and yet we have the highest rates of child depression and suicide. What’s happening with young people that’s making them so unhappy? And why were people so much happier in the early 20th century?

Let’s take a look back to the old days and see how children actually lived. They endured through hard times and impossible jobs to make ends meet or take care of their families. They lived in tenements, got sick from working in coal mines, and yet they survived. They were happy without having that joy delivered by an app. Keep reading to find out what made them different. Let’s go! 

When the USPS Parcel Post service began there were seven instances of people mailing children between 1913 and 1915, beginning with a baby in Ohio.

Source: Reddit

In the early 20th century the United States Postal Service wasn’t the behemoth that it is today. At the time there were a myriad of shipping options that ranged from upstanding to completely lawless. In 1913 the USPS started shipping large parcels on top of just sending letter, and people immediately decided to have some fun with the whole thing.

A lot of parents saw this as a way to cheaply and easily send their kids to visit their grandparents. According to the Smithsonian a couple in Ohio named Jesse and Mathilda Beagle only had to pay 15 cents to mail their 8-month-old son to his grandmother because he weighed less than the 11-pound restriction.

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Jacob Shelton


Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.