A Look at Modesto in 1921

When the Modesto Chamber of Commerce created a promotional booklet extolling the virtues of living in Modesto in 1921, they were reprinting a brochure that had originated ten years before when the Chamber was the Modesto Businessman's Association. At that time, the city had just created a new charter and changed its form of government. A decade later, Modesto had grown and was encouraging those moving to the Golden State to locate in the Central Valley.

What is unique about this publication is that it was in full color and updated photographs and content to reflect the city's growth in the 10-year period. There are somewhat typical public relations statements made about the community, but it does serve as a unique time capsule of the period in which it was printed.

Modesto and Stanislaus County had seen unprecedented growth during the war years: 129% growth for the city and 93% growth for the county. With that phenonmenal growth came a pride of citizenship and a desire to extoll the virtures of a "home city," as Modesto is called in the booklet.

Peruse the pages and take that trip back in time. See Modesto, not as it is today, but as it was in the adolescence of a new century.

You can view this either as a slide show (with a pause feature for pages you'd like to read) or just use the double arrows to advance through the 32-page booklet. The arrows are located at the top left of the booklet.

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