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14 Reasons 1914 Was Better Than 2014 (So Far).

2014 has been a terrible year so far. From the war in Syria, to the crisis in Ukraine, 2014 is on track to pretty much be the worst year ever. It's been so bad in fact, that by almost any metric, 1914 was a better year (with the glaring exception of World War I). Here are 14 things that prove 1914 was better than 2014.

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1. Minimum wage and an 8 hour work day.

Library of Congress / Via en.wikipedia.org

In 1914 Henry Ford shocked the world by practically doubling the daily wage of workers at his factories to $5 a day. He also shortened their work day from nine hours to eight hours. Ford pretty much single-handedly created the modern middle class in a single day.

2014 has seen some wage increases, but the vast majority of Americans are working longer hours, at more places, for less money. Some people are literally killing themselves just trying to make ends meet.

2. Everyone looked so damned spiffy.

BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives / Via Flickr: lac-bac

Back in 1914 everyone looked spiffy and awesome, all the time. Suits, ties, jackets, and hats were a social obligation at every occasion. It didn't matter if you were rich, poor, or homeless, you always looked good.

Nowadays? Well... all you need to know about modern American fashion you can learn over at People of Walmart. It's not pretty.

3. Modern copyrights are born.

Mike Seyfang / Via Flickr: mikeblogs

1914 saw the birth of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, also known as ASCAP. This was a breakthrough moment for artists who finally had someone to advocate for their interests in public.

Nowadays, musicians' copyrights are almost meaningless (unless you're a big star). In fact, artistic copyrights in general are pretty much disregarded thanks to the unscrupulous world of the internet.

4. Charlie Chaplin.

twm1340 / Via Flickr: tom-margie

Charlie Chaplin made his debut in February 1914 with two films (Making a Living and Kid Auto Races at Venice). Chaplin's style was fresh, something audiences had never seen before. He quickly became a box office smash hit and changed the face of cinema.

In 2014, Chaplin still has no equal. Modern mainstream cinema is polluted with Michael Bay wannabe films. I'm looking at you Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Ugh.

5. People worked hard for their animals memes.

Harry Whitter Frees / Via snapme.ca

Harry Whitter Frees was a photographer in 1914, and the original creator of cute animals memes. Instead of using Photoshop like the lazy people of 2014, Frees spent countless hours dressing, posing, and photographing his furry subjects to get the perfect picture.

The dedication in his work shows. It pretty much puts all of r/aww to shame.

6. Unemployment rate.

Richard / Via Flickr: rich701

Despite the sharp economic downturn in the U.S. at the end of 1914 (caused by WWI), the unemployment rate that year was surprisingly low. Just an estimated 6.63 percent.

At first glance, the 2014 unemployment rate may look similar, but it's no secret that the federal government has been using some creative accounting in recent years to make the numbers look better.

7. Tipping wasn't "just optional," it was banned (in some places).

blackmichael77 / Via imgur.com

This excerpt describes a 1914 law in New York that makes giving or receiving a tip an arrestable offense. Yes, please. Let's just pay servers more and stop with the tipping. It's getting out of control.

8. The price of gas.

William Creswell / Via Flickr: crackdog

Back in 1914 the price of gas was crazy cheap. I mean insanely cheap. Like we're so crazy that we're giving it away kind of cheap. Just 12 cents a gallon, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

Nowadays the average price for a gallon of gasoline will cost you $3.44. Just let that sink in.

9. Babe Ruth makes his debut.

Library of Congress / Via en.wikipedia.org

Before sports became the overly commercialized parody of human ability that they are today, there was Babe Ruth. The man was a legend and proved that you could be fat and drunk most of the time, and still play amazing baseball.

In 2014, well if you're fat, drunk, and in the national eye you're probably a Congressman (or at least Speaker of the House).

10. The hurricanes were wimpier.

NASA / Via Flickr: gsfc

1914 had one of the most uneventful hurricane seasons ever. Seriously. There was only one storm reported, and it wasn't even a full blown hurricane.

Fast forward to 2014, and we've already had four storms. If last year is anything to go by, we're going to have a lot more before hurricane season wraps up in the fall.

12. Facial hair wasn't ironic.

Voigt T H / Via en.wikipedia.org

Facial hair (moustaches in particular) have taken on an ironic tone in 2014. They're serious, but not. For the true appreciators of facial hair out there, it's infuriating.

Which of course makes 1914 a veritable paradise for facial hair. Not only did the common folks believe in good facial hair, but so did national leaders. Just look at the moustache on Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. No irony there.

13. Photo filters.

Nesster / Via Flickr: nesster

Even though color photos were technically a thing in 1914, they weren't widespread. As a result, there was only photo filter available to most people in 1914, black and white. So no need to hashtag your pictures #nofilter. Life was so much easier.

14. This elephant mounted machine gun.

RationPack7 / Via imgur.com

As we said, people, World War I ruined what was otherwise the best year ever. However, WWI did see the invention of the elephant mounted machine gun. So I guess it's got that going for it, right?

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