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THE FORGOTTEN FIRESIDE
BY MARSH K. POWERS
THE case of Geraldine Proctor
I was really pathetic. Most of the girls in her set were married, or about to be. Yet not one of them possessed more grace or charm or beauty than she.
And as Miss Proctor's birthdays crept gradually toward that tragic thirty-mark, marriage seemed farther away from her life than ever.
She was often a bridesmaid but never a bride. * * *
Your mirror can't tell you when your breath is not right. And even your most intimate friends probably won't.
That's the insidious thing about halitosis (the medical term for unpleasant breath). Halitosis creeps upon you unawares. You may even have it for. years without knowing so yourself.
That of course is when halitosis is a symptom of some deep-seated organic trouble a doctor must correct. Or maybe a dentist.
But so commonly halitosis is rather a temporary or local condition that will yield to more simple treatment.
Listerine, the well-known liquid antiseptic, possesses wonderful properties as a mouth deodorant. When regularly used, it arrests food fermentation and leaves the breath sweet, fresh and clean.
As such it becomes an indispensable friend to people who wish to enjoy the comfortable assurance that their breath is always beyond reproach.
Listerine will put you on the safe and polite side. Provide yourself with a bottle today and use it regularly as a gargle and mouth wash.
Your druggist has handled Listerine for years, and regards it as a safe, effective antiseptic of great merit.
Start using Listerine today. Don't be in doubt another day about your breath-Lambert Pharmacal Company, Saint Louis, Mo.
NHAT something has happened to home building and home adornment
the American home is an ines- with the sums then spent on horses and 1 capable fact which we all recog. carriages, we would certainly see a situnize. Its old-time social dominance is ation diametrically opposed to that of obviously in eclipse, and the reasons the present. In fact, we need not go which have been adduced to explain this far back into the previous century to obvious lessening in its importance are find a sufficient contrast-a period when many and varied.
a man's business success and his famA recently published statement bear. ily's social standing were measurable ing on this subject halted me abruptly, almost solely by the residence occupied; not merely because it translated tbis that is, by its neighborhood, its size, and National tendency into dollars and cents, its apparent luxury. but rather because it pointed out a nota. So long as the home was thus socially ble parallel. There is thought-provoking emphasized, it was almost automatic material in the sentences quoted below, that a heavy percentage of a family's here reproduced for brevity's sake with income should go into the home. Even out their context:
the newly wedded couple just breaking "Last year they [the people of the out of their teens felt the social urge United States] spent over $3,500,000,000 of immediate home-ownership. To-day [wholesale prices) for the purchase of in many communities this urge from automobiles and accessories. ... It is the outside is virtually non-existent. A interesting to note that the building family feels, and correctly too, that it in shortage a year ago (1919) was esti- no way endangers its social acceptance mated at $3,500,000,000.”
to be residence-renters or apartment: Without attempting any exhaustive dwellers. check-up of the accuracy of the two But what about the automobile? figures (in fact, disregarding wholly Bald as the statement may sound, the their almost suspicious coincidence), we motor car has stolen into the vantagemust all of us accept the basic fact that point formerly occupied by the home; they mirror a fundamental National it has become the most widely accepted truth-that the American home in the symbol of a man's ability to purchase past twenty years has decreased in its luxuries, and, as such, furnishes a far relative importance. At the same time, more convenient and definite yardstick we cannot argue against our clear reali. than any previous gauge. . zation that these same two decades have Jewelry carries no price tag, can be seen an astonishing industry, the manu- cheaply imitated without serious risk of facture of motor cars, start from abso- detection, and can be seen by comparalute zero and climb into a position of tively few. A home is more visible; but major industrial importance. These it does not accompany its owner from facts are so self-evident that we need not point to point, and its cost can only be tire our brains to prove the accuracy of roughly approximated by a layman. the quoted statistics nor dispute the An automobile, on the other hand, acpros and cons of whether there is a companies its owner in public and is a cause and effect to be traced between commodity whose cost is no secret; its the two.
value can be and is known by men and Ministers have deplored the passing women far above or below the particular of home life; reformers have harangued financial stratum which forms its maragainst it; magazines have pointed to it ket. Your grocery-boy is quite probably with alarm; teachers have testified to a connoisseur on motor values. My the handicaps which it imposes upon wife's four-year-old godson recently their efforts. And simultaneously auto- pointed out to her an equally youthful mobile rows, the country over, have neighbor in order to pass on the (evi. gone merrily on with the sale of pas. dently) important information that “her senger cars so long as there was money father owns two C- s.". in the family purses to cover the initial Ignoring all the ethical and social asdown payments.
pects of this condition, and studying it Too often the commentator on Ameri. solely from its business aspect, one fact can life breaks out into an unjust philip- juts uncompromisingly out of the picpic against the automobile, ascribing to ture: It is an advertised product which it a series of ills for which it is wholly has thus come to dominate the Nation's blameless, for which, in many cases, it thoughts and modify its habit. is simply a means and in no way the By advertising-and more particularly cause. That printing disseminates lies by continual advertising of prices—the as well as truth is not held to be an motor car has been made this accepted impeachment of the printing-press. standard, and the public has in turn, by
If, however, there can be traced out adopting it as a measure of financial of the two simultaneous developments standing, accorded the automobile a any other parallels which possess eco- marginal value, an increased desiranomic or social application, then it is bility, over and above the inherent worth while to delve deeper into the worth it holds as merchandise and the subject for the sake of the lessons that value of the service it affords. may be disclosed.
Now for a paragraph of contrastsCould we go back into colonial days and explanations. and compare the yearly investments in In a period when manufacturers of
publications the motor-car manufacturer was purchasing full pages and double spreads in magazines and newspapers, and employing color where available, with a freedom which seemed foolhardy, even criminal, to old-timer industries. He was reversing the usual manufacturing process by first shouldering a predetermined production quota, and then applying whatever sales energy was necessary in order to save himself from being smothered by unsold parts. If motor cars were to be made possible for the masses, standardized quantity production was primarily imperative, but quantity sales were equally necessary. Advertising on a scale never previously attempted for commodities of high-unit selling price offered the one hope of solution.
Hence it was that new makes of motor cars, even in their first year, were often heralded in campaigns more extensive, more expensive, than the older and larger manufacturers of home-building material, more tradition-bound, had ever considered. The pleasure, the profit, and the pride of automobile ownership were dramatized in illustration and reading matter. A baby industry developed into a giant long before it had passed its teens.
And the result?
By 1919-20 the automobile had so usurped the interest of the American family that in thousands of instances a family preferred to squeeze itself into a cramped apartment rather than live more expansively and forego, its motor car. The joke about the mortgage on the house to buy an automobile had simultaneously developed into a standby of the humorous magazines.
I recall one instance of a few years back where a family of five adults and two children slept in a $32.50 six-room apartment, but rode in a seven-passenger, $6,000 car. I can show you a suburban garage, very nearly as large as the cottage in front of it, which houses a world-famous passenger car de luxe. From Indianapolis comes a story of a family which had three times saved the money for installing a bathroom in its home, only to spend the hoardings elsewhere for commodities forced to its attention by more aggressive sales tactics. Among the possessions of this bathroomless family is an $1,800 motor car. Such paradoxes are so commonplace that every reader can probably duplicate or outstrip these samples.
In my own home city the volume of recent building similarly reflects this willingness to accept less spacious living quarters. Construction has swung heavily to apartment's offering “two rooms with the efficiency of five.” Under such construction, the same amount of build. ing material formerly required to house one family now roofs three, and the building-material industry suffers accordingly.
What are the business lessons to be drawn from all this?
(Continued on page 610)
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12 April THE FORGOTTEN FIRESIDE
(Continued) As I see them, they are three in number.
First and foremost is the fact that if genuine homes (and all that makes them priceless) are to be "sold" to the Nation again the task needs to be shouldered by those who have a perma. nent, selfish, monetary interest in the accomplishment. It can be attempted economically only by advertising, and that advertising must not be too nar. rowly intent upon the sale of individual commodities, but must sell the home idea, its comforts, its luxuries, and, above all, its social advantages-in other words, pride in the home must be re vived and made fashionable, not only among the moneyed classes, but throughout the rank and file of the public. Each for himself, home building-material advertisers must phrase their mes. sages-and this can be done so that the desire for a home is fostered while the advertisements are also actively selling particular brands of merchandise.
Secondly, each manufacturer of building materials and home furnishings must feel the pressure of this need so personally that he will materially help to swell the volume of home advertising by his own publicity efforts, so that, in its total, it will hold its own or surpass the force of publicity behind the automobile or behind any other commodity which tends to reduce the per capita expenditure in homes.
There is a final moral, however, which is far broader in its application and is worth heeding by every reader who is either personally active or is financially interested in any commercial or industrial enterprise. It points a lesson which may be slangily stated, “You never can tell”-be wary of the future and do your thinking for to-morrow to-day.
Keep in mind that in 1900 we were still doubting the survival of the automobile. A man who would then have dared prophesy that within twenty years it would be affecting home-building expenditures and competing with notable success for a considerable slice of the American family's dollar against even so-called “necessities"—such a man would have been hooted down.
In the light of that unforeseen reversal, I cannot but wonder what rockfounded industry, whose leaders to-day are complacently viewing their “assured” future market, is doomed to a similar jolt from a source now unknown.
The motor car shoved the home rudely to one side.
Belts pushed suspenders out of fash ion.
The piano is no longer the social sine qua non that it once was; a perioddesign phonograph will serve instead.
National prohibition (the impossible) closed the doors of a host of breweries.
The unknown movies jolted the centuries-old legitimate stage and have emerged from the scuffle with a husky percentage of the amusement slice of the dollar.
Yet what would you ask to seem more
STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, ETC., RE
QUIRED BY THE ACT OF CONGRESS OF AUGUST 24, 1912, OF
FOR APRIL 1, 1922.
Before me, a Notary Public in and for the State and county aforesaid, personally appeared Robert D. Townsend, who, having been duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that he is the Managing Editor of THE OUTLOOK, and that the following is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, a true statement of the ownership, management, etc., of the aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, required by the Act of August 24, 1912, embodied in section 443, Postal Laws and regulations, to wit :
1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, managing editor, and business managers are:
2. That the owners are: The Outlook Company, 381 Fourth Ave., N. Y. City.
Chag. Stillman, C.C. Stillmau, E.G. Siillman (Trustees
for J. A. Stillman)...55 Wall St., New York City Travery D. Carman ...381 Fourth Ave., New York City
Chas. Stillmau. J. A. Stillman, E. G. Stillman (Trustees Walter H. Crittenden. 309 Broadway, New York City
for C.C. Stillman)...55 Wall St., New York City William C. Gregg......330 Prospect Av. H'kensack, N.J.
Chas. Stillman, J. A. Stillman, C.C. Stillman (Trustees Frank C. Hoyt........381 Fourth Ave., New York City for E. G. Stillman)...55 Wall St., New York City Helen R. Mabie ....... Summit, N.J.
Dorothea V. A. Swift..27 East 62d St., New York City Harold T. Pulsifer ....381 Fourth Ave., New York City Robert D. Townsend..381 Fourth Ave., New York City
3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities are: None.
4. That the two paragraphs next above, giving the names of the owners, stockholders, and security holders, if any, contain not only the list of stockholders and security holders as they appear upon the books of the company, but also, in cases where the stockholder or security holder appears upon the books of the company as trustee or in any other fiduciary relation, the name of the person or corporation for whom such trustee is acting, is given ; also that the said two paragraphs contain statements embracing affiant's full knowledge and belief as to the circumstances and conditions under which stockholders and security holders who do not appear upon the books of the company as trustees, hold stock and securities in a capacity other than that of a bona fide owner; and this affiant has no reason to believe that any other person, association, or corporation has any interest direct or indirect in the said stock. bonds, or other securities than as so stated by him. (Signed) ROBERT D. TOWNSEND, Managing Editor. Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of March, 1922.
(Signed) J. LYNX EDDY.
Notary Public, Westchester County : New York County Clerk's No. 72: New York County
firmly intrenched than did suspenders, pianos, breweries, and the speaking stage a few short years ago?
The precaution of wiser, more ample, more educational effort by each of the old-timers in advance of its vital need might have held a goodly share of what has now been lost.
FIELD FISHER is the only woman who has ever been given a dinner by the Authors Club of New York. The fifth of her excur. sions along "human byways" is published in this issue.
HERMAN ROGERS, who this week gives
a graphic account of the traction situation in Philadelphia, is in New England at the present time studying the great textile strike. We hope to present his report of his first-hand investigations in an early issue.
CAPTAIN OVERSTREET, of the United
U States Navy, presents in this issue an obvious but sometimes forgotten axiom of naval history, that the capital ship cannot be destroyed. For if all the battleships are eliminated, the capital ship will consist of the next most formidable class, even if the Navy is reduced to the state suggested in the story wherein the Secretary of War is made to inquire: “Where is the Army this morning?” “Sir, he is out rowing in the Navy."
ITUGH J. HUGHES is Director of MarII kets in the State Department of Agriculture of Minnesota and one of the keenest and sanest students of farm problems in the Middle West.
St. Address or R.R.............
....... ..... State.....
nEORGE STURGES BUCK is a former y Mayor of Buffalo. He was born in Chicago in 1875 and educated at Yale and at the Buffalo Law School. He began to practice law in Buffalo in 1898.
TTENRY C. SHELLEY, a former editorial I associate of Mr. A. S. M. Hutchinson's on the London "Daily Graphic,” presents a character study entitled “The Author of 'If Winter Comes.'” Although Mr. Shelley was for a time literary edi. tor of the Boston "Herald,” he is an Englishman and the author of "Literary By-Paths in Old England," "The British Museum," etc. At one time Mr. Shelley contributed London correspondence on literary and social topics to The Outlook.
TT ARRY LEE is the winner of the Will1 iam Lindsey prize of five hundred dollars, offered by the Poetry Society of America for the best poetic drama submitted during 1921. His play depicted the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, and was called "Il Poverello."