Graph of US iron and steel production, 1900-2014, data from USGS
Percentages of US steel making processes, 1900-2012. Data from USGS and US Bureau of Mines Minerals Yearbook.
Check out these two videos showing population changes of the 5 largest cities over time. Visit and subscribe to the youtube channel of the creator of these videos: Ollie Bye
The 5 Largest Cities (Years: 3000 BC to 1600 AD)
The 5 Largest Cities (Years: 1600 to 2100)
The nation’s population has shifted away from the traditional centers of power. via Bloomburg.
“The pink curve on the graph shows the mean driving distance for PGA tour professionals for every year between 1980 and 2008. The two curves either side show the average plus and minus 1 standard deviation (a measure of the variation amongst the golfers). The dots show the average driving distance for the longest driver of the year.
The graphs show a consistent increase of about 40m with much of that occurring between 1995 and 2005.”
Read the entire study at tutleman.com – they dive in to find out if the growth comes from golf technology or technique.
Dan Schroeder wanted to take a longer term look at the sources of the United States’ electricity consumption. Pulling data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration he created these beautiful charts. Check out his entire post with detailed notes here.
Going back to 1950
Going back to 1850
Over the last hundred years consumption of coffee per capita has fallen. From a peak of 46 gallons per capita in 1946 to 19.7 gallons per capita in 2014. The increased availability of alternatives in the 1940s, specifically carbonated soft drinks, has been attributed as one leading cause of the annual decline in coffee consumption. Using the USDA’s economic research service’s food availability data as a proxy for consumption coffee – we can see the a century’s change of coffee consumption in gallons charted against soft drinks and tea.
The last decade of decline in soft drink consumption is alarming if the data window only frames 2004-2014. But broadening our data view- the picture tells a different story.
Data Source: USDA Economic Research Service
An example of the last ten years in soft drink consumption – with the article titled: This is Coca-Cola’s Biggest Nightmare
— In 1900, <10% of families owned a stove, or had access to electricity or phones
— In 1915, <10% of families owned a car
— In 1930, <10% of families owned a refrigerator or clothes washer
— In 1945, <10% of families owned a clothes dryer or air-conditioning
— In 1960, <10% of families owned a dishwasher or color TV
— In 1975, <10% of families owned a microwave
— In 1990, <10% of families had a cell phone or access to the Internet
Today, at least 90% of the country has a stove, electricity, car, fridge, clothes washer, air-conditioning, color TV, microwave, and cell phone.
Since 1859, when George Bissell and Edwin L. Drake made the first successful use of a drilling rig at a site on Oil Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania, oil has made its way to mainstream markets. Here’s a chart of the history of crude oil prices from 1861 to 2016.
Random Notes and Comments
- The urban hierarchy of the U.S. was dominated by the Northeast and Midwest until relatively recently. Between 1840 and 1900, 18 out of the top 20 metro areas were in the northeastern quadrant of the current USA, with just New Orleans, plus either Charleston or San Francisco, as the only cities in the South or West. As late as 1960, 15 out of 20 were still outside the “sunbelt”.
- For 80 years, from 1860 to 1930 inclusive, New Orleans was the only southern city in the top 20. Before that, Charleston, SC was the dominant city of the south, falling off the list in 1850. In 1940, Houston, Dallas, and Miami began their rises, and Atlanta didn’t crack the top 20 until 1970.
- Cincinnati was the first major city of the Midwest, making the top 20 list in 1820. By 1890 there were 9 midwestern cities in the top 20.
- San Francisco was the only western city in the top 20 for 50 years, from 1860 to 1900 inclusive. By 1910 Los Angeles cracked the the top 20, soon overtaking its northern rival. In 2010, the West had more cities on the list (6) than any other region.
- In 1850, 5 of the top 20 cities were in New York State: New York City (1), Albany (7), Buffalo (10), Rochester (16), and Syracuse (18). The nickname “Empire State” was very apt in the heyday of the Erie Canal.
- Four northeastern cities (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore) have been in the top 20 since the first census in 1790. Washington, DC didn’t really exist in 1790, but Alexandria, VA was on the list then, and DC itself afterwards, so one could argue that the Washington metro area also has been in the top 20 since independence.
- By 1930 Washington, DC was ranked #17, down from #5 in 1820. But the expansion of the federal government during the New Deal era and World War II propelled it up to #8 by 1970. It is the only metro area with a U-shaped curve, with a steady decline in rank followed by a steady rise.
“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” –Winston Churchill