Monday, March 2, 2015

Six illustrations from 1920's "Primer of Sanitation"

Primer of Sanitation by John W. Ritchie is subtitled "Being a Simple Textbook on Disease Germs and How to Fight Them."

The 1920 revision serves as Book II in the New-World Health Series, published by the World Book Company. The book delves into germs, bacteria, tetanus, diphtheria, pneumonia, whooping cough, tuberculosis, consumption, typhoid fever, mosquito-borne diseases and other somber topics. In the preface, Ritchie writes:
"The author has therefore followed with sympathy and very great interest the efforts that are being made to teach sanitation in the public schools, and has felt that the effectiveness of these efforts would be very greatly increased if they were supplemented by an elementary textbook in this field."
The textbook's illustrations were done by Karl Hassmann

Here are some of them, presented without editorial comment on my part. (Readers, please feel free to discuss these 95-year-old notions of healthy and hygiene.)

"The great outdoor world is practically free from germs."

"Consumptives taking the winter air on a city roof."

"This house was so infested with mosquitoes that the owner was about to sell it at a sacrifice, when he learned from a health official that a half-hour spent in draining the ditch or in sprinking it with kerosenee would free his family from annoyance and the danger of disease."

"It is never safe to use public drinking cups."

"In a light and well-ventilated room germs are killed by the light and drying."

"In both city and country the public health nurse is becoming one of the most important agents in the prevention of sickness. Day afer day she moves about among the people, advising them on matters of health."

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