100 Years Ago: Saloons, Tobacco, Amusements

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of September 1911.

The editors receive many suggestions, criticisms and commendations, from the readers of the Improvement Era, of general interest to the public. Some of these good things, we are tempted to print from time to time:

Saloons Open More Than Churches

Have you ever noticed that the churches are open only when the saloons are closed, and that the saloons are open six days and most of each night a week, while the churches are open at the most six hours one day each week? And yet some people wonder why the church is losing influence. — A.

[In Utah in 2011 one must be 21 years old to buy or consume alcohol. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has regulated the sale of alcoholic beverages since 1935. Utah is one of 18 states that has a monopoly over the wholesaling and/or retailing of some or all categories of alcoholic beverages. In commercial facilities, the time at which alcohol may be served is limited, and alcohol may not be sold any later than 1am.

In 2011 saloons are still open more than churches.]

Tobacco Consumption Up

Milk separator

Cream separator in Swedish museum. Whole milk is poured into the bowl. Turning the handle causes a centrifuge to spin and separate the milk into heavier cream and lighter skimmed milk, each coming out of a spout.

We make life strenuous by our extravagances and artificial wants, so that we have very little time to study on lines of spiritual development. Though the world is growing better in many things, the great mass of people is thronging the broad road to destruction.

When turning the separator this morning, I noticed the stream of cream was very small compared with the stream of skimmed milk. So it is with humanity. There is room in a very narrow road for the cream, but the skimmed milk needs a very broad road, and then it seems crowded.

I was told by a man the other day who was representing a tobacco house that the consumption of tobacco in this country had increased 40 per cent in the last year, and the use of intoxicants is also increasing.

I am thankful for the Word of Wisdom. It is a great blessing to all who obey it. I am very thankful that the Lord called me in my boyhood and gave me the knowledge of the way of eternal life. I am thankful for the good reports that come to us of the condition of the work of the Lord at home and abroad. May the great work continue to roll on. — Patriarch William Halls, Mancos, Colorado.

[According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1911 in the United States 10.1 billion cigarettes were consumed, representing 173 cigarettes per capita of those 18 years or older. This was a 14.6% per capita increase from 1910.

In 2006 (last published figures) 380.0 billion cigarettes were consumed, representing 1,619 cigarettes per capita. This was a 1.5% per capita decrease from 2005. In 2009, 20.6% of all adults (46.6 million people) were smokers.

In 2011 the Word of Wisdom is still a great blessing to all who obey it.]

Too Much Amusement

If but a fraction of the time, talent, and energy now spent in exploiting amusement for our young people were utilized in devising means of useful employment for this same class of individuals, I do not hesitate to assert that we should have better, nobler, more useful and positively more valuable young people than at present.

As it is we rear a lot of assuming, expectant, demanding, dependent, leaners. Where are the lifters among our young people? There are some, but they are very few. Parents must furnish the sinews of war, be up early and late, scheme, plan and toil untiringly. Who assists them? As a rule not the young, strong, healthy and beautiful specimens of manhood and womanhood, their sons and daughters.

The children — grown men and women, brim full and running over with energy — must just now plan for excursions, arrange for parties, obtain books, papers and periodicals enabling them to provide games for every day in the year. And they must be “on” to every “stunt” in the field. The field that yields the golden grain? No; Pa can see to that. Ma can feed the calves and the pigs. That’s about the way it goes, my dear brother. Any wonder that the average thinking parent feels tired? — Dr. Charles L. Olsen, Murray, Utah

[In 2011 even Pa does not harvest the golden grain and Ma no longer feeds the calves and the pigs.]

Adapted from: “Editor’s Table”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. September, 1911. No. 11.

Photo Credit: Calle Eklund
Rickety signature


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