This photo from the October 14, 1922 issue of Radio World shows a veteran of the Civil War listening to the radio. According to the caption: “The Grand Army veteran . . . wanted to listen in and the owner of a set obliged him. Before he had satisfied his longing, the old soldier was able to tune in himself…. The old fighter said that becoming acquainted with this new wonder gave him a new lease on life.”
While there might be a few younger, most Civil War veterans at that time would have been at least 75 years old. (A man born in 1847 would have been 18 years old at the time of the war.) He was probably born in the Polk administration, fought in the Civil War, and his sons or even his grandsons could have fought in the Spanish-American War or the First World War. The telegraph was barely in existence when he was born, and he lived to see electrification, motor cars, phonographs, the telephone, and even radio.
The world became a very different place during this one lifetime.