1914 Facts, Fun Trivia and History

 1914 Facts, Fun Trivia and History

Top Ten Baby Names of 1914

Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ruth, John, William, James, Robert, Joseph

US Life Expectancy

(1914) Males: 52.0 years, Females: 56.8 years

Firsts, Inventions, and Wonders

The world’s first electric traffic signal was placed on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 5, 1914.

The first Commercial Airline was the St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line; the first commercial flight was on January 1, 1914.

The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) was formed in New York, NY.

The Perils of Pauline, a movie serial, debuted.

Harry Fox introduced The Foxtrot at the New Amsterdam Roof Garden in NYC.

The Panama Canal opened.

The term “Cup of Joe” was invented to mock US Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels, who banned the consumption of alcohol in 1914, replacing it with coffee.

On May 8, 1914, the US Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. It is still celebrated today.

H.G. Wells coined the term “Atomic Bomb” in his book The World Set Free.

The Most Popular Singers and Artists of 1914 include

The American Quartet, Nora Bayes, Henry Burr, Albert Campbell, Helen Clark, Arthur Collins, Marguerite Dunlap, Byron G. Harlan, Charles Harrison, Joe Hayman, The Heidelberg Quartet, Irving Kaufman, Grace Kerns, George MacFarlane, John McCormack, Billy Murray, Will Oakland, The Peerless Quartet, Prince’s Orchestra, Manual Romain, Maggie Teyte, Walter Van Brunt, The Victor Military Band

Pop Culture Facts & History

Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor was one of the earliest animated films and the first to use keyframes, animation loops, tracing paper, and feature a dinosaur. The 12-minute film consists of over 10,000 individually traced frames and took several years to complete.

The Ford Model T wasn’t just available in black. From 1908-1913, it was available in gray, green, blue, and red. Only in 1914 was the “any color as long as it’s black” policy introduced.

Ford Motor Co wages went from $2.40/9-hr day to $5.00/8-hr day.

When Thomas Edison’s factory burned to the ground, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing millions in damage, he said: “Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.”

Charlie Chaplin’s first appearance as The Tramp was in Kid Auto Races at Venice

The RMS Empress of Ireland had a cat named Emmy. She never missed a voyage until May 28, 1914, when she refused to go aboard. The ship left without her and sank the next day.

Seattle’s Smith Tower was the tallest building on the Westcoast 1914 until the Space Needle opened in 1962

Speedo swimwear originated in 1914 under the brand name ‘Fortitude’. It didn’t become known by its current brand name until 1928.

The actor credited for performing in the most movies for a long time was Oliver Hardy, of Laurel and Hardy fame, with a record 417 movies between 1914 and 1951. Recently, others have gotten more screen credits than he, including Frank Welker, Eric Roberts, and many voice actors.

Passenger Pigeons were once the most abundant bird in the world. John James Audubon once saw a flock that took three days to pass. Alexander Wilson reckoned that a flock he saw contained 2,230,272,000 individuals. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the world’s last passenger pigeon, died alone in 1914 at the Cincinnati, Ohio Zoo.

The Coca-Cola Company was flooded with look-alike competitors. The bottlers requested design proposals for their product: a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground,” and the initial Classic Coke green bottle was released in 1916.

The most outstanding high school football team of all time was in Massachusetts. The 1914 Everett Crimson Tide, went 13-0, won the national title, and outscored their opponents 600-0 throughout the season.

The famous “Uncle Sam Wants You,” and Smokey Bear’s “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” posters are both imitations of a British Army recruitment poster from 1914 – “Lord Kitchener Wants You.”

WWI in History

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip.
British WWI soldier Thomas Hughes tossed a beer bottle with a letter to his wife into the English Channel. He was killed two days later. In 1999, a fisherman dredged up the bottle in the River Thames. Although Hughes’ wife had died in 1979, it was delivered to his 86-year-old daughter.

The Christmas Truce

On Christmas in 1914, German and Allied Troops had a truce and sang songs together, gave presents to each other, and even played soccer. The Germans won 3-2.

The Horrible

The Influenza Pandemic of 1913-1914, also known as ‘The Spanish Flu,’ killed more people than WWI. Casualties were around 30 million. (not to be confused with the Pandemic of 1918-1920, which killed over 50,000,000 people.

The Ludlow Massacre

On April 20, 1914, the Colorado National Guard fired on a camp of striking miners and their families, killing at least 19, including 11 children.

The Extinction

The final Passenger Pigeon in the wild was shot in 1901. The last, Martha, died in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.

Nobel Prize Winners

Physics – Max von Laue
Chemistry – Theodore William Richards
Medicine – Róbert Bárány
Literature – not awarded
Peace – not awarded
The Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded for WWI (1914-1916) and WWII (1939-1943). The International Committee of the Red Cross was the first winner after each war.

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1914

Fiction Bestsellers

1. The Eyes of the World by Harold Bell Wright
2. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
3. The Inside of the Cup by Winston Churchill
4. The Salamander by Owen Johnson
5. The Fortunate Youth by William J. Locke
6. T. Tembarom by Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. Penrod by Booth Tarkington
8. Diane of the Green Van by Leona Dalrymple
9. The Devil’s Garden by W.B. Maxwell
10. The Prince of Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon

Other Books of Note

Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein
Other People’s Money by Louis Brandeis
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Drift and Mastery by Walter Lippmann
Behaviorism by John D. Watson


World Series Champions: Boston Braves
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Hockey Club
U.S. Open Golf: Walter Hagen
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): Richard Norris Williams/Mary Browne
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Norman Brookes/Dorothea Lambert Chambers
NCAA Football Champions: Army
Kentucky Derby Winner: Old Rosebud
Boston Marathon Winner: James Duffy Time: 2:25:14

More 1914 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us) 
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1914
1914 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com 
Fact Monster
1914 in Movies (according to IMDB) 
Wikipedia 1914