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What Sonoma County looked like in 1918

Charles Borba, who served in France during World War I, says goodbye to his family. (Courtesy of the Sonoma County Library)

JANET BALICKI WEBER,

A lot has changed in Sonoma County since 1918.

One hundred years ago, Woodrow Wilson was our nation's president, World War I came to an end and the Spanish Influenza spread across the globe, killing as many 50 million in just one year.

On the home front, Sonoma County became an agricultural powerhouse, with products like hops, apples and eggs in high demand. Petaluma was considered a world leader in the chicken and egg industry, boosted by a Chamber of Commerce campaign that titled the city, “Egg Basket of the World,” and started the Egg Days Parade to celebrate the burgeoning industry.

In 1918, the world took notice of Luther Burbank’s groundbreaking work with plant breeding. His blight resistant Burbank Russet potato helped Europe recover from a devastating potato disease and subsequent famine that hit the continent in the mid 1800s. His menagerie of famous friends included Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and Helen Keller.

Want to see what life was like in our county in 1918? Click through the gallery above.