Chicago 1948


  • About a fifth of the population of the United States has a telephone.
    • Telephone has been a public utility for about a decade.
    • Telephone numbers are formatted with 2 letters to denote the location and then 5 numbers (e.g. LA-5-8210).
    • The technology is new enough that most calls are put through the Operator to ensure nothing goes wrong.
    • In addition, long distance calls cannot be dialed directly.
    • Phones are typically answered not with Hello but by confirming you have the right number (eg. Lakefield 8210, from our previous example).
  • Televisions have been mass-produced for 2 years. They're still expensive (about $375 a pop, or nearly $4,000 in today's currency, for a 10" screen) but there are local TV channels that air.
  • It is still the Golden Age of Radio. Nearly every household has one. Commercial radio broadcasts include not only news and music, but dramas, comedies, variety shows, and more.
  • Microwave ovens have only recently been invented and won't see common use for another decade. Right now, they're industrial size.
  • The transistor was invented just this year!


  • The 1948 dollar is worth about $10 in 2017 money. Use this inflation calculator for more information.
  • After WWII, women have started taking positions in the workplace.
    • The common view is "still weird, but as long as she can do the job."
    • Women make up 30% of the workforce. Of those women, nearly 50% of them are age 16-24.1
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License