The following table summarizes what you need to know about Western generations so you can track your own in time.
Coming of age
The G.I. Generation – Greatest Generation
1918 - 1929
The Silent Generation – Lucky Few
1943 - 1962
The Baby Boom Generation – Baby Boomers
1963 - 1972
Generation X – Latchkey Kids
1988 - 1994
Generation Y – Millennials
2098 - 2006
Generation Z – Gen Next
2007 - 2020
Most of these primary generations still have a role in today’s market place, but the recent research has shown that Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as largest generation in the US.
What generation am I?
The generation calculator tool provides you with descriptions for all the established generations starting with 1900 and right until present:
G.I. Generation (1900-1924)
442nd Nisei Regiment
■ Also known as the Greatest Generation, includes the veterans who fought in World War II.
■ Lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression and many other advances.
■ They are conservative savers, hard-working , with a high sense of moral obligation, patriotism and respect for authority.
■ Two overlapping groups consistent with the Depression Era (born between 1912-1921) and the World War II cohort (born between 1920-1924 to fight in 1939-1945).
Silent Generation (1925-1945)
■ Born between the two World Wars, many of them who were too young to join the service in the World War II.
■ Also known as the “Post War Cohort” or the “Lucky Few”.
■ Lived through the post war economic boom but also through tensions and approaching wars.
■ Conservative, rational savers, hard-working, patriotic members that fight for security and stability.
Baby Boom Generation (1946-1965)
■ Born after the World War II, their parents belonging to the G.I. Generation.
■ A 14 year increase in birth rate worldwide.
■ Focused on the civil rights movement and cultural development.
■ Lived through the Vietnam War, MLK, the Kennedy assassination, the Nixon resignation.
■ They came of age in the ‘60s with the hippie movement, Woodstock and college rages.
■Boomers I or The Baby Boomers (1946-1954) and Boomers 2 or the Jones Generation (1955-1965).
■ Many of the Baby boomers embraced a more conservative behavior and eventually gave birth to Generations X and Y.
Generation X (1966-1979)
Popular American TV shows
■ Also known as the Gen X is the first generation to follow the Baby boomers.
■ This is also the first generation to be named and defined by marketers.
■ Many of its members are aware of their generational title.
■ Came of age in the '80s and '90s with the Reagan era, Challenger explosion, fall of Berlin Wall, Persian Gulf War, economic recession.
■ The all-knowing spoiled kids of the Baby Boomers yet with fewer ambitions and less driven to change the world.
■ The generation X kids are called the “latchkey” kids, exposed to daycare and family instability and this has probably shaped how they regard their family life and how the next generation, Y, is being educated. - The best educated with 29% obtaining a bachelor’s degree or higher (6% higher than the previous generation).
Generation Y (1980-1994)
■ Also known as the Echo Boomers or Millennials.
■ The demographic cohort of individuals, primarily children of the Baby boomers.
■ This generation grew up with many world-changing events including the rise of mass communication, technological advance.
■ All knowing as the former Gen X they have what it takes but are also willing to do something about it.
■ This generation benefits from all science advances and better education and has the ambition and desire to change the world.
■ They have been exposed and seen so much that are now immune to traditional ways from marketing to sociology.
Generation Z (1995- )
■ The term generically used to describe the cohort of people born around 2000.
■ Also known as iGeneration, Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Gen Next, Post Gen.
■ This is a generation living in a society where everything is possible and the main communication channel is the internet.
■ A volatile environment of terror threats, possible nuclear or biological attacks.
■ Family stability and moral values put aside, heightened sense of self.
■ Education is now focusing on developing practical skills and enriching creativity..
This generation calculator is a tool designed to help you find quickly what generation you are and which are the characteristics of your up bringing.
The algorithm behind it is simple and takes account only of the year you were born in and the sociologic and marketing studies in the area.
Apart from the particularities of a specific demographic cohort someone is born under, there are other interesting facts that can be found considering the age and birthday.
Before the advent of computerized telephone dialing systems, making a phone call required a switchboard operator. Some of you may have even held this job at one point, so we won’t go into too much detail, but the switchboard operator would connect calls by inserting a phone plugs into corresponding, appropriate jacks.
From Seattle Municipal Archives via Wiki Commons
9. GANDY DANCER
Don’t let the name fool you; being a Gandy Dancer is a tough job! Gandy dancer is a slang term used for early railroad workers. Before machines became capable of laying and maintaining railroad tracks, that work was done by hand. The term’s origins are unknown, but many think it comes from a “Gandy Shovel Company.”
From Edward Hungerford via Wiki Commons
Here’s one that we were surprised to learn about. Before Gottfried Schmidt invented the mechanical pinsetter in 1936, bowling alleys employed pinsetters. Yep, a pinsetter would set the bowling pins back up after they were knocked down, hence the name (the position was also known as a pinboy, since many pinsetters were teenage boys given the nature of the job).
From Lewis Wickes Hine via Wiki Commons
7. SODA JERKS
If there’s one position that’s near and dear to our hearts, it’s the soda jerk. These were the servers who would make the ice cream sodas and soda water at the drugstores up until the 1960s. Though a soda jerk was formally called a soda clerk, the name came from the motion the server would use to swing the soda handle back and forth while adding the soda water.
From Alan Fisher via Wiki Commons
6. RADIO ACTORS
While this position might technically still exist in the form of radio commercials, gone are the days of radio actors entertaining us on shows like The Lone Ranger or The Burns and Allen Show. Not only were the actors amazing, but the way they created sound effects was quite clever. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes clip.
Electricity sure did change a lot of things, including the way we lit our streets at night! Before light bulbs, the common means of illuminating the dark sky were by candle, oil or gas. These lights needed to be manually lit, hence the lamplighter. Most lamplighters used a giant pole to reach the light, and would come back in the early hours of the morning to extinguish it.
From Klearchos Kapoutsis via Wiki Commons
OK, so here’s another profession that might technically still exist, but not in the way we remember it! Growing up, there was nothing better than waking up to a bottle of fresh milk waiting on your doorstep. The milkman was always friendly, wearing that trademark uniform and ready to deliver the day’s fresh milk. Sure, there are still services that will deliver milk to your door, but it’s just not the same.
3. ICE CUTTER
Before the mechanical refrigerator, we had the icebox. In order to keep an icebox cool, you needed ice (who’da thunk it, right?). In the colder parts of the country, ice cutters would travel out onto the frozen bodies of water and cut out large blocks of ice to be used in the warmer months. While some ice cutting was seen as a chore for farmers, some operations were quite large, containing a crew of several dozens of men and harvesting up to 1500 tons of ice a day.
From the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wiki Commons
2. FOOD SAFETY TESTERS
Believe it or not, before the FDA existed, people were basically allowed to put whatever they wanted into food products. In order to determine if the food was safe, it had to be tested. In fact, we have a great story about one chemist’s work in testing food safety, and the formation of what became known as the Poison Squad (Click Here to read that fascinating story).
1. LOG DRIVER
In the early days of the logging industry, the cheapest and most efficient way to transport logs from the forest to the sawmill was via log driving. Log driving was the process of binding several logs together, sometimes attached to a raft, and floating them down a river or a body of water to their intended destination. A log driver was the pilot of this makeshift log boat; and these boats could get quite big.
Even though I am from Kansas, I enjoy venturing into other worlds from
around the globe which is why my writing focuses on diversity. With
fluid accessibility to modern media and traveling opportunities, my
Midwestern world can expand and explore beyond my own backyard. In
addition to studying cultures, I take pleasure in studying history.
Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even,
over our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as
entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings,
photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of
humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us
striving for an improved future.