Looking Ahead While Looking Back to 1922 in Marin

By Carol Acquaviva

In early 1922 the Tamalpais Bank of San Rafael distributed the booklet Every Day Almanac and Home Helps for the year ahead. Like many “farmers almanacs” this is a compilation of information on various subjects that might be of general use: important calendar dates, phases of the moon, weather forecasts, news items, and tips on gardening, health, farming and keeping home. Each page gives insight into life one hundred years ago. Below are a few excerpts.

With voting rights expanded, readers are reminded that both men and women are to participate at the local level.

“Our town government is guided by men and women elected and appointed to office, not because of any particular party affiliations, but rather because of their special qualifications or fitness for the office or position. Co-operation is the keynote of our business management and civic improvement.”

Still a recent event, mention was made to the expansion of voting rights for women.

“A great event for the women of the United States was the passing of the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution. At eight o’clock in the morning of August 26th, 1920, Secretary of State Colby affixed his name to the proclamation setting forth the tiding that the amendment Susan B. Anthony had prepared more than fifty years before, and that women had worked for ever since, was a part of the law of the land.”

Healthful living habits were stressed in terms of personal hygiene, nutrition and fitness.

“Golden rules for health have been formulated by the…Department of the Interior.
(1) A full bath more than once a week.
(2) Brushing the teeth at least once a day.
(3) Sleeping long hours with the windows open.
(4) Drinking as much milk as possible but no coffee or tea.
(5) Eating some vegetables or fruit every day.
(6) Drinking at least four glasses of water a day.
(7) Playing part of every day out of doors.”

Left: Hikers at the Old Mine Trail near Rock Spring, Mt. Tamalpais, circa 1922. Right: The California Alpine Club announces a New Years hike, Mill Valley Record, December 31, 1921.
Movie theater showings for the week ahead, from the Mill Valley Record, December 31, 1921

The popularity of both moving pictures and communication technology were front and center in 1922’s almanac.

“Los Angeles, termed the largest city in the United States in area, is the center of the motion picture industry. One hundred and sixty companies are operating there.”

“A new vocation is that of the ‘motion picture doctor.’ When the proprietor of a motion picture house finds that his shows are not well attended, he sends for the doctor. The latter makes a psychological study of the audience and prescribes the type of picture that would best suit them.”

Mill Valley Record, January 7, 1922.

“Wireless telephonic communication is now possible between New York and Chicago with small power apparatus. Experimenters in England are trying to talk with America.”

“A recent report says that the average number of telephone calls per person in the United States is 211 per year.”

“According to statistics a third of the telephone operators become brides before they have worked five months.”

The Tamalpais Bank advertisement on the back cover of the 1922 almanac shares a bit of wisdom to consider for the year ahead: “You Never Know Until You Try.”

San Anselmo Herald, December 30, 1921




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