Jim Rasenberger, author of America, 1908 wrote a fascinating piece for the January, 2008 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. As Rasenberger contends, in 1908 it seemed that anything was possible. An excerpt appears below. The illustration of a man with wireless telephone is from Harper's Weekly.
The year 1908 began at midnight when a 700-pound "electric ball" fell from the flagpole atop the New York Times building - the first-ever ball-drop in Times Square. It ended 366 days later (1908 was a leap year) with a nearly two-and-a-half-hour flight by Wilbur Wright, the longest ever made in an airplane. In the days between, the U.S. Navy's Great White Fleet sailed around the world, Adm. Robert Peary began his conquest of the North Pole, Dr. Frederick Cook reached the North Pole (or claimed to), six automobiles set out on a 20,000-mile race from New York City to Paris, and the Model T went into production at Henry Ford's plant in Detroit, Michigan.