This appears to be a record of some early public history or public opinion research. Browsing through a university library, I picked up Britain by Mass Observation, a small Penguin book that reported on the results of "man on the street interviews," day surveys and personal diaries compiled by volunteers.
It's an interesting read: one third about the Munich crisis, some thoughts on wrestling and local fetes, and big chunk on the bloody lambeth walk.
The Mass Observation movement seemed a little too casual and non-too rigorous to qualify as public opinion research or market research - as we consider it today.
"...Young, confused, and vigorous, Mass-Observation sought to understand something that anthropology and sociology still took largely for granted: the everyday life of ordinary people...(New Yorker, nice long article about the "movement.)
Still, this one book is chock-a-block with direct quotes and observations from a variety of classes and generations. Some of the observations are likely more honest and frank than you would expect from a poll today.
For example, here's a woman of 38, speaking to a pollster about horoscopes:
"I read them every Sunday, many a time it's been true, but they don't give you so much bad news. When it was my birthday they said I should get a surprise. I got one. It was a good 'un, mister. No, I'm not telling you what it was, that's my business."
[tags] mass observation, polling, public opinion research, 1938, Munich crisis [/tags]