asahel blodgett of hudson and dorchester n h

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: : travel in the olden time ; when the mowing machine in the field and the sewing machine in the house have so greatly reduced the ordinary labors of a rural community, it is interesting and suggestive to recall the conditions and environments in which our ancestors lived in Hudson and Dorchester a hundred years ago. In 1800, when the Union comprised 17 States, with a population of 5,300,000, there were but live steam engines in the United States, and their joint capacity would not equal the power that propels an Atlantic liner at the present day. Steamboats had not passed beyond the experimental stage ; there was not a mile of railroad nor a locomotive in existence. It was a good day's travel from Hudson to Boston ; it was four days from Boston to New York. It was nearly half a century before the telegraph annihilated distance, and three quarters of a century before the telephone enabled the resident of Hudson to hold conversation with a distant friend. Life at that remote period would seem monotonous and dull even to the resident of the country town at the present day. Now the thrifty farmer of Hudson receives, by rural delivery, the daily city papers which keep him in touch with all the happenings of the world. He lives in a house with comforts and conveniences that the city aristocrat did not have a hundred years ago. His wile has a sewing machine which greatly lightens her labor. His daughters, perhaps, have a piano in the parlor, and magazines and fashion plates on their tables. When he rides abroad he enjoys a top buggy and a silver-plated harness. The century which has elapsed since the time we arc considering has been emphatically the age of mechanical invention. The wonderful development of machinery has changed the whole course of industrial effort, and in ma...
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