Rebecca Graves, from the Health Sciences Library, won 1st place in the poetry category for Well Versed. Well Versed is an anthology published by Columbia Writer’s Guild.
You can read Rebecca’s winning poem,The Raccoon at the Bottom of the Stairs, by purchasing a copy of Well Versed when it comes out.
Boy tells girl “Jes’ you wait, Susie—I got six seventy-one saved up. Soon as I get nineteen dollars I’m gonna git me seventeen white collars and a swell suit; then I’m gonna git a job as office boy in a bank and git a four thousand dollar bonus an’ buy you that there Soudan.”
The caption, above, to this cute 1920 cartoon from Cartoons magazine (vol.17 no.3), provides a unique opportunity to showcase our Prices and Wages by Decade research guide. The guide, which helps researchers locate primary sources showing historic retail prices and average wages, links mainly to government reports, but also includes catalogs and newspapers when relevant.
This ambitious young man mentions a number of figures that we could take a closer look at with the help of Prices and Wages: the prices of a swell suit and white collars, wages of office boys, and price of a sedan in 1920. To start checking his numbers, let’s head to the 1920s page of the guide.
First, for suits and collars, the 1920 Montgomery Ward catalog link found under the Merchandise tab of the Prices section sounds promising. Sure enough, the index tells us that ‘collars’ can be found on page 388 and ‘youths suits’ on pages 320 to 322. There are plenty of both collars and fine suits for our young hero to choose from!
Next we move over to the Wages section to see what we can find for office boy earnings. The link for teenagers’ wages in Detroit, 1922 may be a good place to start. It takes us to the publication Occupations of junior workers in Detroit, which shows the 1922 pay of office boys as $6, $12, or $25 per week depending on hours worked per week (p.22). An entry from the 1921 Official Publication of the Central Trades and Labor Council of Greater New York and Vicinity shows another figure: “As office boy…His compensation is at the rate of $300 per year, and he is paid $25 monthly” (p.47).
Finally, the big ticket item—the sedan. Back on the Prices side, there is a Travel and Transportation tab containing a link for car prices for 1920-1924 in annual editions of the Handbook of Automobiles. Selecting the 1920 edition, we are taken to a digital copy at the HathiTrust digital library; from here we can either browse by our favorite automaker or search for the word “sedan” using the ‘Search in this text’ tool located at the top right-hand corner of the reading pane to find price listings. Some sedans are indeed priced around $4000 or higher.
What do you think, was our young friend accurate with his financial planning?
- MU Psychological Services Clinic is offering brief (1-5 sessions) therapy for children and adults who would like support in coping with stress and anxiety related to the life and routine changes due to COVID-19. All sessions will be delivered via videoconference or telephone. Information is available at: https://psychology.missouri.edu/psychological-services-clinic
- The following website is a great source of information on MUHC’s response to COVID-19 and how the community can help: muhealth.org/coronavirus
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We are going to try something new this week. I will post a new stay at home wellness challenge each week. Anyone who wants to join can participate, and I will share the responses in the following week’s News Notes.
(I can add photos to posts again! Thanks LTS!) (Also, thanks to Grace Atkins who shared this idea from her new job at the University of Minnesota.)
Family, friends, children, pets, social groups and community organizations. Those are all the things that give our lives purpose and meaning. But then there are the little things that bring us happiness and satisfaction in our daily lives. Maybe it’s that one favorite chair, blanket, pillow, subscription to audible, that special cooking pan, art tool, slippers, fireplace. What is the one item in your house you are happy you have right now?
Challenge: Take a picture of the item, and email it to me at email@example.com by noon on April 16.
I can’t wait to see everyone’s favorite items!
Christina Pryor has been elected the 2020-21 President-Elect of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). Pryor will serve her Presidential term during 2021-22.