“Cooperate with Nature, It is Kind”

Another new book and new year and, as always, I get excited first about the book itself.  This year, she uses a variety of colored ink.  On the inside page, written in green, is her contact info including the house I am currently in, and her phone number.


818, guys.  That was her phone number.

She also has her work information on the important numbers page and as it turns out, her place of employment was a “financial” office.  That makes sense.

postal info

And in this book, instead of historical facts adding something to the pages, this journal has some helpful life hints. The importance  of birthdays is included.  According to Forbes and Wallace, Wednesday’s child is NOT full of woe, but happy and glad!  So there, Mom.  It also shares with us the flower symbols for the month.  I’m a fan of October.  October’s flower is hops!  In January alone I also learn that the second wedding anniversary is calico, how to hang drapes, and that putting egg white on my face is some how a beauty tip.  There are twelve recipes for ice cream in this journal.  All very important stuff.


I also noticed the front of the journal.  I guess Forbes and Wallace, the local department store, stamped their own line of journals.  Babu has a whole set of them.  I did some research, first on the Frobes and Wallace store.  Here is a great site about the store!

Forbes and Wallace, Springfield, MA

Looking south on Main Street from the corner of Harrison Ave., around 1910. Photo from Views and Facts of Springfield, Mass. (1910).


The same scene in 2014:


The Forbes & Wallace department store was established in Springfield in 1874 at the corner of Main and Vernon Streets (today Boland Way), and by the turn of the last century it had become a major shopping destination in downtown Springfield.  At some point after the first photo was taken, the building was demolished and replaced by a much larger department store building, seen in the photo in this article from the Springfield Republican.  However, with increasing competition from suburban shopping malls, the store closed in 1976 and the building was demolished in 1982.  It was replaced by Monarch Place, which was completed in 1987 and is the tallest building in the city.


I searched for the type of journal and I found this article about a local department store from Illinois.  Forbes and Wallace was not the only department store to have this line of diaries.

The Ready Reference Diary

As part of the company’s community relations, it published an annual day-planner called the Ready Reference Diary. This book contained a day-by-day calendar as well as many charts of interesting facts and references. In the 1931 edition, Williams Brothers included a list of “The Fifteen Rules of Health.” Adherence to these strategies would help insure a long life. They are listed here to see how we measure-up today.


  • Air:
    1. Have fresh air where you live and work
    2. Wear light, loose, porous clothes
    3. Spend part of your time in the open air
    4. Have lots of fresh air where you sleep
    5. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose
  • Food
    1. Avoid eating too much
    2. Do not eat much meat and eggs
    3. Eat various kinds of food
    4. Eat slowly
  • Habits
    1. Have your bowels move at least once each day
    2. Stand, sit and walk erect
    3. Avoid poisonous drugs
    4. Keep clean and avoid catching diseases
  • Activity
    1. Work hard, but play and rest too
    2. Be cheerful and learn not to worry

There is a page of advice like that in 1938, however, it’s a bit different.

health rules

I think number 12 is the most important.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Debra says:

    I love the Springfield “before and after” photos. And the healthy living tips were pretty progressive for 1938. What a fabulous book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about the progressiveness! Yes, these books and what are in them are amazing.


  2. I am looking forward to this too-love the helpful hints-actually still holds true-the pictures are a nice bonus!


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