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Unit 7: Set 3. Modernization on North Dakota Farms - Activities

Introduction | Activities

  1. Visit your local library or historical society to find out when telephones, rural electrification, and television first came to your community. Find someone to talk to who remembers their first television.
  1. Imagine what life was like on farms before electrification. How did they keep food fresh, bathe, wash clothes? What did they do in the evenings after sunset? What kind of research can you do to support your assumptions?
  1. Identify a new technology of your time that you think has historic importance. Outline the significance (social, political, and/or economic) of that technology. How will it change your life? Will it continue to be important in the future.
  1. Mrs. Olson had surgery for gall stones in the late 1930s. She was in the hospital for nine days; the total cost was $179. Compare the bill for her surgery to the cost of her new refrigerator and wiring in 1949. How did the new technology compare to health care costs? Are the ratios similar or different today? Did the cost of electrification and new appliances concern Mrs. Olson?
  1. Pauline Olson expresses some worry about the Atomic Bomb (A-bomb). Is she showing ignorance or was above-ground testing of atomic weapons dangerous to people living in North Dakota?

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