reach back to

reach back to (some point in time)

1. To originate in and continue on from some previous point or period in time. The traditional ceremony reaches all the way back to the founding of the country. The recipe I'm using reaches back to the days of the settlers.
2. To draw from, contain elements of, or be inspired by some previous period in time or someone or something therefrom. The singer reaches back to the powerhouses of the '70s to delivery some truly funky tunes. Her latest film reaches back to the black-and-white era while creating something wholly original.
See also: back, point, reach, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

reach back (in)to something

to extend back into a particular period in time. This policy reaches back into the last century. Our way of making fine candies reaches back to the recipes used by the founder of the company.
See also: back, reach, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
In the meantime, Friday and the captain's mate so well managed their business with the rest that they drew them, by hallooing and answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, till they not only heartily tired them, but left them where they were, very sure they could not reach back to the boat before it was dark; and, indeed, they were heartily tired themselves also, by the time they came back to us.
Both had no option but to retreat and reach back to office in Press Enclave.
For that reason reports reach back to the KPK investigation institution in the long time of two weeks.
As financial management leaders, we must reach back to actively "build our bench" and develop our replacements.
Pokey and his band, the South City Three, reach back to the 1920s and 30s for inspiration.
But the preacher need not reach back to the ancient Near East to make this point.
A major goal within this strategy is to be a continuous and desired presence to our community by enabling its members to reach back to DAU learning assets that are continuously updated to maintain accuracy and context.
Studies of the relationship between temperature and aggression reach back to the late 1800s and a common belief amongst philosophers and writers is that warm weather produces hostility.
The center's acclaimed professional company creates original choreography based on Odissi classical dance, the roots of which reach back to the second century B.C.
It's tonic to reach back to a defamiliarized time when everyone was learning on the fly and unashamed of that fact.
World Youth Days, he said, reach back to a Christianity that is largely pre-Vatican II and almost pre-Enlightenment.
The roots of his unique style reach back to the San Francisco of the 1930s, when he studied with Henry Cowell and gave joint percussion concerts with John Cage.
Sources at the Post said rumors are already circulating that Allan plans to reach back to his Sydney connections to replace some of those who were just fired.
If we can reach back to reclaim some of the bounty of the past, we must similarly be required to accept some of the blame for the past.
Based in Toronto, MPL has been a publicly traded company since the late 1980s, but its roots reach back to 1941 through The Investment Reporter.