“Only Yesterday” and only in Calgary…

Calgary downtown, 1920's

Calgary downtown, 1920’s

As many of you know, I crave history, like dogs crave bones, so naturally I always head to the History section in bookstores.  This is where I caress the numerous book spines that line the shelves, patiently looking for that truly interesting book, one that will take me back to a different time and place.  I will also admit that I love US history considering my distant relatives helped form Pennsylvania, in addition to fighting in the Revolutionary War.  For this very reason, part of my ancestral blood will always tie me to the birth of the United States and its incredible history.

Calgary Stampede Beer Gardens

Calgary Stampede Beer Gardens

During my last visit to the bookstore, I was able to purchase two “gems”.  Both books related to US history and both books related to the 1920’s – one of my favourite historical periods.    One of my new books is named – “Only Yesterday – an informal History of the 1920’s”, written by Frederick Lewis Allen in 1931.  Allen was born in Boston in 1890 and graduated Harvard University in 1912.  He considered himself a writer and editor; reaching his pinnacle later in life when he became the Editor-in-Chief for Harper’s Magazine.   This book provides a fascinating account of what life was like during the roaring twenties in regards to politics, social manners, and life in general.   While reading this book, it gave me an idea, take the same philosophy and apply it to Calgary!

CALGARY'S PALACE THEATRE IN THE 1920s - DANCERS STUDIO WEST TO RESTORE IT. (W.J. Oliver, photographer)DATE PUBLISHED AUG. 11, 2004. PAGE  B2 *Calgary Herald Merlin Archive*

CALGARY’S PALACE THEATRE IN THE 1920s – DANCERS STUDIO WEST TO RESTORE IT. (W.J. Oliver, photographer)DATE PUBLISHED AUG. 11, 2004. PAGE B2 *Calgary Herald Merlin Archive*

A project like this takes a great amount of research and a visit to both the central library and the Glenbow Archives ; however, to provide some immediate gratification, I have decide to post some old advertisements and old photographs of Calgary to act as the beginning appetizer with the main entrée following at a later date.   All pictures are provided by both the Henderson’s Directory of 1920 and the Glenbow Archives.

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Categories: Calgary History

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