A glance in the rearview mirror: April 1921—Mumps. Prunes. Olives. And women feeling their oats.

by Mary Jo David

The following excerpts are from April 1921 editions of the Stockbridge Brief-Sun newspaper.


“Possibly you have noticed that the school bell taps about five minutes before time for the last bell. This extra exertion on the part of the janitor is to avoid a rush on the drinking fountain. Mr. Bennett stands by to enforce prohibition when the last bell rings.”


  • Even back in 1921, the newspaper was reminding residents to turn their clocks ahead one hour.
  • “Fresh prunes, size 70-80, 10 cents per lb.—3 lbs. for 25 cents at Force’s.”
  • “Mr. and Mrs. S.M. Milner returned Monday from Richmond, Indiana, where they went after a new hearse.”
  • A note that “If the fly crop would only bud when the fruit did, the frost would do the swatting.”
  • “Spring calves now are appearing. No, not the kind you are thinking of—they’ve been out all winter!”


From Frank Felton: “I wish in this way to thank those who so kindly assisted in buying another horse to replace the one injured in the run-a-way.”


  • “Herbert Phelps has the mumps.”
  • “Clinton Stevens is on the gain.”
  • “Miss Pearl Goodwin is out of school this week entertaining the mumps.”
    (SCN Ed. Note: Clearly, Miss Goodwin’s mumps were more fun than Mr. Phelps’ mumps!)


  • “Some of the school girls coming home Monday evening rejoiced when they were able to pick some beautiful violets in spite of the snow.”
  • “We are delighted to see the fruit trees out in blossom, but are afraid the snow has broken their hearts.”


Boy 14 Eats 150 Olives in Ten Minutes for $10: Long Beach—A 14-year-old boy from Los Angeles defeated nine other contestants representing almost as many races, at an olive-eating contest in the Municipal Auditorium. The lad bolted down 150 in ten minutes. Edward Hadover of Long Beach came in second with 142 to his credit. The prize was $10.

The Girl On The Job. How to Succeed—How to Get Ahead. How to Make Good (Excerpt).
By Jessie Roberts
There is perhaps no surer way of discovering just how the interests and the opportunities of women have broadened in the last very few years than to study the women’s magazines. The business woman is carefully considered today in the publications. Her training, her chances of success, new fields where she may try for positions: these are exploited. There are articles on subjects that would never have been touched upon five or six years ago, or even two or three years ago. Finance…women are learning to manage their own funds…the day when woman was not supposed to understand the money market is indeed gone. Naturally, the coming of the vote to women has brought a lot of political material into these pages…Women want to know a whole lot of things that they did not, as a class, care about only a short time ago. And what women want, they get….It is truly, today, up to her.

Michigan to Raise Fund for Starving. Every man, woman, and child in Michigan whose sympathies go out to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the unclad, will be asked to contribute to the state’s quote of $350,000 in the nationwide campaign now being waged to raise a total of $10,000,000 for the suffering women and children of Ireland by the American Committee for Relief in Ireland…a purely non-partisan, non-political and non-religious organization, as it is, of men and women of all races and creeds…

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