A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

I am thankful that my lot has been cast in this fair city.  I love it and I have faith in its future.  There have been times of trial and of fear, but time has told in favor of courage not to be lost and deep confidence in final good.  It cannot be doubted that the splendid achievement of the Panama-Pacific Exposition gave strong faith in power to withstand adverse influences and temporary weakness.  When we can look back upon great things we have accomplished we gain confidence in ability to reach any end that we are determined upon.  It is manifest that a new spirit, an access of faith, has come to San Francisco since she astonished the world and surprised herself by creating the magnificent dream on the shores of the bay.

At its conclusion a few of us determined it should not be utterly lost.  We formed an Exposition Preservation League through which we salvaged the Palace of Fine Arts, the most beautiful building of the last five centuries, the incomparable Marina, a connected driveway from Black Point to the Presidio, the Lagoon, and other features that will ultimately revert to the city, greatly adding to its attractiveness.

Fifty years of municipal life have seen great advance and promise a rich future.  Materially they have been as prosperous as well-being demands or as is humanly safe—­years of healthy growth, free of fever and delirium, in which natural resources have been steadily developed and we have somewhat leisurely prepared for world business on a large scale.  In population we have increased from about 150,000 to about 550,000, which is an average advance from decade to decade of thirty-three per cent.

Bank clearances are considered the best test of business.  Our clearing house was established in 1876, and the first year the total clearances were $520,000.  We passed the million mark in 1900, and in 1920 they reached $8,122,000,000.  In 1870 our combined exports and imports were about $13,000,000.  In 1920 they were $486,000,000, giving California fourth rank in the national record.

The remarkable feature in all our records is the great acceleration in the increase in the years since the disaster of 1906.  Savings bank receipts in 1920 are twice as large as in 1906, postal receipts three times as large, national bank resources four times as large, national bank deposits nine times as large.

There can be no reasonable doubt that San Francisco is to be a very important industrial and commercial city.  Every indication leads to this conclusion.  The more important consideration of character and spirit cannot be forecast by statistics, but much that has been accomplished and the changed attitude on social welfare and the humanities leave no doubt on the part of the discerning that we have made great strides and that the future is full of promise.



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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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