With Juliette Gordon Low’s 150th birthday still on my mind, I thought it would be fun this week to lay out some of the changes that occurred during her lifespan: 31 October 1860 to 17 January 1927.Inventions can make our lives easier, medical breakthroughs can help us live longer, accidents of nature can amaze us, wars and legislation can affect us. Even if she didn’t write about them in her letters or diaries, the events in this very quirky list below would have played a part in shaping the world that Daisy Low knew, and I think it is a biographer’s job to understand not just the person, but her times.

1863:  The world’s first underground railway opened in London
          Roller skates invented
1865:  U.S. Civil War ended
1867:  Barbed wire invented
1869:  Suez canal opened
1870:  Germ theory of disease postulated by Louis Pasteur
1871:  Great Chicago fire
1873:  Levi’s denim jeans patented
          Typewriter invented
1876:  Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone
1877:  First phonograph record, also A.G. Bell
1879:  First incandescent light bulb
1880:  First hearing aid—better than the ear trumpet–invented
1881:  First building lit by electricity opens, in London
1883:  Krakatoa erupted
1885:  First skyscraper built in Chicago:  ten stories tall
1886:  Daimler built the first automobile
1889:  Jane Addams opened Hull House
          Paris Exposition
          Olave St Clair Soames born
1890:  Escalator demonstrated
1893:  Zipper invented
1896:  Marconi patented the radio
1898:  Spanish-American War began and ended
          First submarine launched
1899:  Third Boer War began
1900:  Bayer created aspirin tablets
1901:  Instant coffee and vacuum cleaner developed
          Victor Talking Machine company sells Victrolas
          Queen Victoria died
          Prince of Wales became King Edward VII
1902:  Pepsi-cola invented
          Teddy bear created
          Third Boer War ended
1903:  Wright Brothers had their first successful flight
1905:  Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
1907:  First Montessori school opened
1908:  Robert Baden-Powell published Scouting for Boys
          Cellophane, the Model T, and the FBI appeared
1909:  NAACP founded
1910:  George V became king of England
          Agnes Baden-Powell began the Girl Guides
          Campfire Girls started
1912:  Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts
          Robert Baden-Powell married Olave St Clair Soames
          Titanic sank
1913:  First crossword puzzle created
1914:  World War I began in Europe
1915:  Klu Klux Klan re-created
          First coast-to-coast long distance telephone service begun in U.S.
1916:  Margaret Sanger opened America’s first birth control clinic
1917:  Great Britain allowed women into auxiliary corps of the Army and Navy
          U.S. enacted Prohibition
1918:  Flu pandemic killed c. 30 million globally
          World War I ended
1920:  Women gained the vote in the United States
          First radio broadcasts commenced in United States
1921:  Marie Stopes opened England’s first birth control clinic
          Band-aids invented
1922:  Chanel No. 5 introduced
          King Tut’s tomb unearthed
1923:  Talking pictures (movies with recorded sound) began
1925:  Scopes Trial occurred
1926:  Hitler Youth established
1927:  First television demonstrated
          Lindbergh makes successful trans-Atlantic flight

That’s a lot of history for a too-short but important life.  Seen at a glance like that, it gives a sense of some of the important issues of her day.  Of course, the list could be much, much longer.  What would you add?

Because I’m writing fast and furiously, this information comes from the following three sources, with thanks:  
History World (http://www.historyworld.net);