On your vacation list of California must-sees (before Disneyland): the Standard Oil refinery in Richmond. Credit: Richmond Public Library


Say you’re a hardworking member of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research 103 years ago. You’re ready for a summer vacation. What do you do to take a break from work?

Naturally, you work.

Sure, you’re away to have fun. But don’t forget to take the opportunity to “broaden your civic outlook.”

One of our indefatigable team of techies, Sarah Rappo, came across this charming advisory while digitizing records of the BMR, its successor Institute of Public Administration and visionary leader Luther Halsey Gulick III as part of our Carnegie-funded project to preserve and promulgate our collection on  civic reform in America.

The weekly bulletin for June 20, 1914 began like this:

So if you were vacationing in Baltimore,  you might see police officers like these:

Neat? Alert? Courteous? You be the judge.

Other things to keep an eye (and ear) open for: pollution, livery stables, street musicians and factory whistles.

Are there rest rooms and comfort stations? (Not in 2017!) Stray dogs? Mosquitoes? Newsstands? (What’s a newsstand, mommy?) How about playgrounds?

Maybe that’s what influenced future NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses when he and Gulick were classmates at the BMR’s Training School for Public Service in 1916?

Now, bring all that good information back home.

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