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of course upon the condition and surroundings of the individual. Up to ten years or thereabouts, a free, active, out-door life, together with such suitable exercises as the schools should afford, would be amply sufficient. Unfortunately, physical training as ordinarily employed there, is a mere farce and scarcely worthy the name. The idea that ten or fifteen minutes of light gymnastics daily is sufficient to strengthen the muscles, straighten the shoulders, and develop the chest, is manifestly absurd. One can hardly expect to counteract in a few minutes those influences which are at work from morning till night, or to overcome in a moment physical defects which have existed for years, and perhaps from infancy.
Physical education is deserving of as much recognition in our public schools as any other branch of learning, and not until this fact is realized can we hope to obtain for our children all the essentials of good health and longevity.
Calisthenics, as ordinarily practiced, are, as I have stated, of too trivial a character to produce any very marked results. By allowing children the use of wands or wooden dumb-bells varying in weight from a half to one pound, their work is rendered more interesting, and at the same time the improvement in muscular development and conformation of the chest is much more apparent. It may be stated just here that dumb-bells, as employed in youth and adult life, are much too heavy. It is seldom expedient to go above five pounds, - a weight which will enable one to practice the various exercises for a long time without fatigue. As true chest developers, however, they do not compare for a moment with the weights, for although by their use the chest girth is generally increased, this is most often due to the development of the muscles on the outside of the trunk rather than to increase of lung capacity. The results, therefore, are more apparent than
The duration also of these school exercises should be increased. Twenty minutes' work during each of the two daily sessions is not too long, but would produce results far greater and more satisfactory than any heretofore observed.
After the age of ten or twelve years, there begins another period which is perhaps more important from a physical point of view than the one preceding it. At this time specific exercises should be instituted for securing lung development. The methods for attaining this object have, I trust, been sufficiently well described. To those who can afford it, — and there are very few who cannot, — the chest weight offers the most efficient aid. It should be placed in every home in the land where children are, and its daily, routine use should be encouraged and, if necessary, insisted upon. It may at times prove a difficult task to persuade young persons to continue the work they have begun, yet after a habit becomes established, its importance appreciated, and its good effects recognized, all reluctance will most likely disappear.
The object of this paper is the promotion of physical culture, not simply for the improvement of the body or figure, or for purposes of competition, but for the reason that it is one of the chief measures for preventing chronic disease of the lungs.
I have endeavored to show that to be most effective, it must be instituted in early life and maintained by proper means through subsequent years. Whatever may be the real cause of consumption, it has been fully established that the well developed lung invariably escapes infection, while the unexpanded one is the first to suffer. Could our educators be convinced of the vital importance of this subject, and be induced to act accordingly, the number of deaths from this disease would be materially lessened, while the capacity for study and for physical endurance would be as greatly increased. During school life the question of the child's future welfare is often decided. It is in the power of parents and teachers to secure for him either a phenomenal brain with a consumptive tendency, or a well developed mind with physical perfection. Now, which shall it be ?
AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION.
SIXTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING.
REPORTED BY G. P. CONN, M. D., DELEGATE FROM THE NEW
HAMPSHIRE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
The sixteenth annual meeting of this association was convened in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 20, 1888, and two regular sessions were held during each of the three following days, besides special meetings, committee work, etc., etc.
This association is one of the most important, influential, and extensive organizations of its kind in this country, as among its members are residents of every State in the Union ; and the dominion of Canada being in full fellowship, the work of the association becomes international in its character. The work of the association is entirely sanitary in its purpose, the prevention of disease, the prolongation of life and health, and the removal of the products of death and decay taking precedence over all other subjects. Sectional lines have no part in the discussions except so far as they may mark the probable limits of some special disease like yellow fever.
It is a well-established fact that ordinary epidemic and contagious disease has no respect for territorial limitations or municipal boundaries; therefore, health laws and regulations governing the sanitary conditions of towns and cities of the same or similar population, drainage facilities, and water supply, will obtain in any part of the State or country. Thus associated effort becomes simplified, and the mingling of ideas developed from the study of sanitary problems evolved in New England may become useful on the Pacific coast, and the experience of Canada during the late epidemic of small-pox may assist the health officer in the new States of Dakota or Washington more effectually to stamp out the loathsome disease should it appear to him early in his work. The laws of health are generally uniform, and any serious violation must and will, sooner or later, be accounted for.
No amount of sophistry will cover up the violence done to the mind and the body. A strong physical organization and will power may temporize and extend the period of retribution, but the payment is only postponed. The principal remains the same; the interest is accruing, and bankruptcy stares in the face him who heeds it not.
The associated work of this organization extends through the length and breadth of the land, and has an educational power second only to the individual work of a well organized state board of health. It is worthy of the support of state and municipal health officers, and to attend its meetings should be the ambition of all engaged in sanitary work.
The program for the first session of the association contained the following papers :
“Report of the Committee on the Pollution of Water Supply," by Dr. Charles Smart, surgeon United States Army.
Papers on “ Are Small Lakes Fit Sources of Municipal Water Supply?” and “The Effects Produced upon the Waters of Lake Monona by the Receipt of the Sewage of Madison for Six Years,” by Prof. W. W. Daniels, Madison, Wis.
The report of Major Smart was one of the best and most timely papers that could have been presented to the association, and one of infinite importance to the public ; for a polluted water supply is always unsafe, and a constant menace to the health of a com. munity. A brief abstract is appended, but the report was ordered printed, and your Board of Health is prepared to furnish the full report to those interested in this subject.
Dr. Smart's report contained many statements which will be of local interest. He stated that in every city where records were kept, the death rate from typhoid fever was in direct proportion to the amount of sewage which entered its water supply, and also that it had been conclusively demonstrated that the condition of a city's water supply has more to do with the prevention and cause of typhus and similar diseases than the condition of its sewerage system. In New Orleans, where rain water is largely used for domestic purposes, there is very little typhus, although that city has no sewerage system at all. Dr. Smart considers the temporary storage of water in reservoirs a good thing. In St. Louis the sediment which collects in the reservoirs amounts to about 200,000 cubic yards annually, which, if the water were not allowed to stand and settle, would be distributed among the consumers. No form of artificial filtration yet discovered can be called a success, because they all fail in their aim to accomplish in an hour the purification which it takes nature months to bring about. Major Smart therefore held with the English authorities : “Rivers which have received sewage, even if that sewage has been purified' before its discharge, are not safe sources of potable water.”
The whole matter was summed up in the following words : “Reduced to its lowest and simplest terms the question of water supply is this: the raising of sufficient money to bring in the wholesome water, and the investment of the health officer with power to preserve the wholesome quality of the public supply, and to prevent the use of water from sources which are known to be unwholesome.” It was also shown that Massachusetts, Illinois, and Minnesota had made wholesome legislative progress in this direction, the state boards of health being empowered not only to act in an advisory and hortatory capacity, but furnished the means by which frequent chemical and biological examinations of the water-shed and basin supplies are tested ; and also the power to secure the stoppage and prevention of their pollution, whether actually begun or only threatened, by prompt injunctions from the respective supreme courts.
Drs. Vaughan, Rauch, Horsch, Hicks, Walcott, Rohé, and others joined in an exhaustive discussion of all the vital matters involved in this report, in such a manner as to amplify, corroborate, and indorse it throughout.
Prof. Daniels not being present, his paper was passed for the time, and the whole session was occupied very profitably in the discussion of the paper on water pollution.