1910 Trivia, History and Fun Facts

1910 History, Fun Facts and Trivia

  • World-Changing Events: The Albanian Revolt of 1910 and The Mexican Revolution
  • The Popular Songs Included: By The Light of the Silvery Moon, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, and I’m Henery the Eighth, I Am.
  • The Republic of China officially abolished slavery.
  • The first film versions of The Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein were released.
  • President Taft began the tradition of throwing out balls on MLB’s opening day.
  • On April 20, Comet Halley was visible from Earth. On May 18, The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet.
  • Washington State became the 5th US State in which women could vote.
  • American domestic tourism began with the establishment of Glacier National Park in Montana.
  • In the first “Fight of the Century”, African-American boxer Jack Johnson defeated white-American boxer, James J. Jeffries.
  • The Conversation: It was about Halley’s Comet.

Top Ten Baby Names of 1910

Mary, Helen, Margaret, Dorothy, Ruth, Anna, Elizabeth, Mildred, Marie, Alice
John, James, William, Robert, George, Joseph, Charles, Frank, Edward, Henry

US Life Expectancy

 (1910) Males: 48.4 years, Females: 51.8 years
Federal spending: $690 million
Unemployment: 5.9%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.02

Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders

Principia Mathematica, a three-volume work on the foundations of Mathematics, was released. This hefty work aimed to create a set of axioms that could, in theory, prove all mathematical truths. This included proving that 1+1=2.

Thomas Edison’s Frankenstein (1910) is the earliest known film version of Mary Shelley’s novel.

The word “Moron” was first coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Ancient Greek word ‘moros,’ meaning “dull.”

William D. Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America.

The first mid-air collision. On October 3, Frenchman René Thomas, flying the Antoinette IV monoplane, collided with British Army Captain Bertram Dickson in his Farman III biplane. No one was killed.

The first public radio broadcast was live performances of the Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci operas from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

The first airship with passengers set afloat-Zeppelin on June 22, on The Deutschland.

Georges Claude invented Neon Lights, first publicly displayed at the Paris Motor (Auto) Show.

The Tango dance, a cultural blend of Cuban, Argentinian, and African rhythms, became famous worldwide.

President William Howard Taft began the tradition of throwing out balls on MLB’s opening day.

“ALFA” (later Alfa Romeo) was an acronym for “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili,” founded in 1910.

Yellow Cab was founded

The Most Popular Singers and Artists of 1910 include

The American Quartet, Harry Anthony, Norah Bayes, Henry Burr, Arthur Clough, Arthur Collins, Ada Jones, Byron G. Harlan, The Hayden Quartet, Harry Lauder, Harry Macdonough, Lucy Isabelle Marsh, John McCormack, Eddie Morton, Billy Murray, Jack Norworth, Will Oakland, The Peerless Quartet, Arthur Pryor’s Band, Bob Roberts, Frank Stanley, Elise Stevenson, Sophie Tucker, Walter Van Brunt, Elizabeth Wheeler, Bert Williams

Pop Culture Facts & History

When Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet during its 1910 approach, there was public fear that a gas discovered in the tail, cyanogen, would destroy all life on the planet, leading to people buying gas masks and “Anti-Comet Pills,” which were $1 each.

The Great January Comet of 1910, often called the Daylight Comet, appeared in January. It was brighter than Halley’s and unexpected.

Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon) was released from her first periods of forced isolation and went on to cause several further outbreaks of typhoid in the New York area.

“Lakeview Gusher” was the name given to an out-of-control oil eruption from a drilled well in Kern County, California. It created the largest accidental oil spill in history, spewing for 544 consecutive days, and releasing 9 million barrels of crude oil.

During three days of shooting in December 1910, Adolf Toepperwein shot 72,491 out of 75,000 tossed wooden blocks.

In one hour, 10,000 people in Iowa constructed a 380-mile road in 1910.

The first movie ever shot in Hollywood was “In Old California” by DW Griffith in 1910. It was a historical melodrama about southern California in the 1800s when it was a part of Mexico.

The first film version of The Wizard of Oz was released in 1910

Alice Stebbins Wells was sworn in as the first policewoman in the United States by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The world record holder for the world’s oldest dog was Bluey, who lived from 1910 to 1939 and died at 29 years and five months.

In France, Raymonde de Laroche was awarded Pilot’s License #36 by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, becoming the first woman authorized to fly an airplane.

Rayon, a man-made fabric blended from cotton, wood pulp, and other natural or synthetic fibers, was first commercially produced in America in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

While attending the first American Air Meet, William Boeing asked every aviator for a ride, but no one obliged. William then went back to Seattle and founded Boeing Aircraft.

The Tragedies

One hundred eighteen people died when three passenger trains were buried at Steven’s Pass, Washington, in the Cascade Range by the worst snow slide in US history.

On March 27, a Fire during a barn dance in Hungary killed 312 people.

In England, near Bolton, an explosion killed 360 coal miners: The Pretoria Pit Disaster.

A fire at a building in Newark, New Jersey, housing several factories, killed 24 women and girls employed by the Wolf Muslin Undergarment Company.

The Great Fire of 1910 (aka Idaho Big Burn or The Big Blowup) in the western US was the size of the state of Connecticut. It spanned from eastern Washington to western Montana, and 3 million acres were burned. Eighty-seven people were killed.

In England, an explosion at the Wellington Coal Mine near Manchester killed 137 people.


Valentine Tapley promised never to shave again if Abraham Lincoln was elected president. He died in 1910 with a 12-foot 6-inch long beard.

The Great Illusion by Norman Angell, a best-selling British book published in 1910, claimed future major wars were unlikely because they would unprofitably disrupt commerce and credit between nations.

The Population of Manhattan peaked in 1910, at 2,331,542. It is lower today.

Nobel Prize Winners

Chemistry – Otto Wallach
Literature – Paul Heyse
Medicine – Albrecht Kossel
Peace – Permanent International Peace Bureau
Physics – Johannes Diderik van der Waals

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1910

Fiction Bestsellers: 

1. The Rosary by Florence Barclay
2. A Modern Chronicle by Winston Churchill,
3. The Wild Olive by Basil King
4. Max by Katherine Cecil Thurston
5. The Kingdom of Slender Swords by Hallie Erminie Rives
6. Simon the Jester by William J. Locke
7. Lord Loveland Discovers America by C.N. and A.M. Williamson
8. The Window at the White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart
9. Molly Make-Believe by Eleanor Abbott
10. When a Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Other Books of Note:

Twenty Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams
Origins and Development of Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
Howards End by E.M. Forster
How We Think by John Dewey

1910 United States Census

Total US Population: 92,228,496
1. New York, New York – 4,766,883
2. Chicago, Illinois – 2,185,283
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 1,549,008
4. St. Louis, Missouri – 687,029
5. Boston, Massachusetts – 670,585
6. Cleveland, Ohio – 560,663
7. Baltimore, Maryland – 558,485
8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 533,905
9. Detroit, Michigan – 465,766
10. Buffalo, New York – 423,715


World Series Champions: Philadelphia Athletics
Challenge Cup Champs: Ottawa Hockey Club/Montreal Wanderers
U.S. Open Golf: Alex Smith
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): William Larned/Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Anthony Wilding/Dorothea Lambert Chambers
NCAA Football Champions: Harvard & Pitt
Kentucky Derby Winner: Donau
Boston Marathon Winner: Fred Cameron Time: 2:28:52

More 1910 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us) 
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1910
1910 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com 
1910US Census Fast Facts
Fact Monster 
1910 in Movies (according to IMDB) 
Wikipedia 1910