Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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(the carbo-hydrates), and 1 of salts. The chief ingredients of the salts are potash, about 50 per cent.;
and phosphoric acid, about 13 percent. The juice of the potato abounds in salts of o'-ganic acids
(citiic. tartaric, etc.). which on incineration are converted into carbonates - the carbonic acid thus
formed amounting to 13.3 per cent. The relative proportion of fat to albuminates in the food which
is most easily digested, and at the same time produces the greatest mechanical force, is as 1 to 2; in
the potato, it is as 0.1 to 1.5, or as 1 to 15. Again, the starchy matters should be to the nitrogenous as
3 to I iii the best diet: in the potato, they arc as 23.4 to 1.5, or as 14 to 1 nearly. On this subject sea


coals. Leather and sheep skin coats are in common use in Turkey, Tnrfary, Persia, the
Danubian provinces, a::d in Canada, where buffalo skins are often used. For persons
specially susceptible to cold, and of delicate organization, a chamois leather jacket worn
over a llannel waistcoat may be recommended with advantage during the winter months.
Jndia-rubber clothing must be used with exireme caution. From its being impenetrable
to wind, and from its condensing and retaining the perspiration, it is decidedly objec-
tionable; while on the other hand, its protection against ram is a very valuable property.
The council of health of the French arm}' have refused to mlmit waterproof garments
among their soldiers; and in this country it has been prohibited among the London postmen.

In relation to protection against heat, we have to consider the color and not the tex-
ture of clothing. White is the best color, then gray, yellow, pink, blue, and black-
lienee, in hot countries, white or light gray clothing should be preferred.

The shape and weight of all articles of clothing should be such as to allow of the
freest action of the limbs, and in no way to interfere by pressure with the processes of
respiration, circulation, or digestion. , In a complete treatise on hygiene, a discussion
oil the relative advantages and disadvantages of the various articles of cloth-ing used by
both sexes would tind a proper place, but our limited space totally precludes us from
entering into this subject.

Attention to the STATE OP THE SKIN is of great importance in a hygienic point of
view. The perspiration and sebaceous matters which are naturally poured out upon the
surface of the body, with an intermingling of part ides of detached epidermis, fragments
of libers from the dress, dirt, etc., if not removed, gradually form a crust which soon
materially interferes with the due excreting action of the skin. There is little doubt
that the daily use of the matutinal tub, which less than half a century ago was unheard
of, and is now a matter of nccess.iy with most healthy persons who have the means of
using it, has contributed materially to harden the system against attacks of colds, rheu-
matism, etc. When a tub and sponge happen to be unattainable, a wet towel rubbed
over the bod}', followed of course by a dry one, is a good substitute.

EXEHCIKE is the subject that next claims bur consideration, and we shall briefly notice
its effects on the different systems of organs. (1) The most important eil'eet of muscular
exercise is produced on the luiif,'*, the quantities of inspired air and of exhaled carbonic
acid being very much increased. Taking the air inspired in a given time in the hori-
zontal position' as unity, a man walking 3 m. per hour inspires 3.22; a^d if carrying 34
Ibs., 3.5; a man walking 4 m. per hour inspires 5; and when walking G m. per hour, no
less than seven. Almost twice as much curbouic acid is rxhukd during exercise as dur-
ing rest. Hence, muscular exercise is necessary for the due removal of the carbon; and
it is obvious that in a state of prolonged rest, the carbonaceous food must be diminished,
or the carbon will be liable to accumulate in the system; and further, it is clear that, for
strong exercise, carbonaceous food should be freely given. (2) The action of the heart
rapidly increases in force and frequency during exercise. The increase m the number
of beats may range from 20 to 30, and is sometimes much more. After exercise, the
heart's action is diminished. Excessive exertion may do harm by inducing pulmonary
congestion, aijd even haemoptysis, palpitation, hypertrophy, valvular disease, and occa-
sionally rupture; while deficient exercise probably tends to induce tuberculous disease
of the lung, weakness of the heart's action, and probably dilatation and fatty degenera-
tion. From these facts we learn, that when a person commences any new form of exer-
cise or gymnastics, the heart's action should be watched, and if" the pulse rise to 120 or
more, the exercise should for the time cease. (3) The xkin becomes red from increase of
blood in the capillaries, and the perspiration is increased, being at least doublet). The
bodily heal is kept down by cutaneous evaporation, which reduces the temperature.
During exertion, there is very little danger of chill, but the danger becomes great when
the exertion is over, because there is then a rapid fall in the heat of the body, while the
evaporation of the skin continues. Hence, while the skin may be freely exposed during
exercise, it must be covered immediately afterward in order to prevent any feeling of
coolness on Ihe surface. (4) The mimcles grow to a certain limit, but over-exercise of
any special group may produce wasting. Care must be taken that the exercise is of such
a nature that all the muscles, and not single groups, should be brought into play; and
that in early training, long intervals of rest should intervene between the periods of exer-
cise, (o) The effect of exercise on the mind is not clearly determined; great bodily
activity IB often observed in association with full menial activity; but there is a fear
that, in our great public schools and universities, boating and cricket are suppianting
more useful subjects, and leaving too little time for the due performance of intellectual
work. (C) Dirjextion is improved by exercise. The appetite increases, and nitrogenous
substances, fats, and salts, especially phosphates and chlorides, are required in greater
quantity than in a state of rest. (7) The change of 1i**nes is increased by exercise, or, in
other words, the excretions give off increased quantities of carbon, nitrogen, water, and
salts. The muscles require much rest for their reparation after exercise, and they then
absorb and retain water, which seems to enter into their composition. So completely is
the water retained in the muscles, that the urine is not increased for some hours. Hence,
observes Dr. Parkes, there is an absolute necessity of water for the acting muscles, and
the old rule, held by trainers, of only allowing the smallest possible quantity of fluid,
must be wrong.


The amount of exercise which should be taken by an adult healthy mrm is a subject
of great importance. Prof. Haughtou, in his J\'eto Theory of Muitcular Action, calculates
that a laboring man daily exerts a muscular force to a degree which may be expressed by
saying, that he would raise to the height -of 1 foot from 250 to 330 tons. For poison?
Dot obliged to labor, the force expended, including that required for the ordinary avoca-
tions of life, should average 150 tons, which is equivalent to walking about 9 in. daily.
It is unfortunately impossible to arrange scales of exercise for invalids, women, and
children. Prof, llaughton has shown that walking on a level surface is equivalent to
raising the ^lh part of the weight of the body through the distance walked. When
ascending a height, a man of course raises his whole weight through the height ascended.

\y _i_ \Y'D

Using his formula , .. .. , - (where W is the weight of the person, W the weight car-
^0 X 2240 v

ried, D the distance walked, 20 the Coefficient cf traction (see FRICTION), and 2240 the
number of pounds in a ton), we obtain as a result the number of tons raised 1 foot; and
on applying it, we get the following table:

Kind of exercise. W 'l ht done in tons

lifted one foot.

Walking 1 mile ... 1 7. G7

" 20 miles 353.4

" 1 mile, and carrying 60 Ibs 2-1.75

" 20miles " " 495.

Thus, a march of 10 m., with a weight of 60 Ibs. (which is about the weight a soldier car-
ries when in marching order, but without blankets and rations), is a moderate day's work.
A 20 miles' march with this weight is a very hard day's work. As a continuous effort,
prof. llaughton believes that walking 20 m. a day without a load (Sundays excepted) is
good work. For a discussion on the various forms of exercise, as horse exercise, boat-
ing, dancing, and gymnastics, we may refer the reader to Mapother, op. tit., pp. 263-268.
Jn connection with the subject of exercise, the reader is referred to the article MUSCULAR

THE CONSTRUCTION OP HOUSES, especially of dwelling-places for the poor, and
public lodging-houses, next claims our notice. There can be no doubt that the fre-
quency and fatality of the epidemics of the middle ages were in a great measure due to
Unhealthy habitations. The houses were usually closely packed in crowded streets, and
were often built for the purpose of defense, at a sacrifice of ventilation, lighting, drain-
ing, etc. At the present day, with all our boasted civilization, the dwellings of the poor,
Loth in our large towns and in our country villages, are too often a disgrace to humanity.
Any one may icndily satisfy himself on this point by reading the various government
reports referred to in an early part of this article" the annual reports of the medical
officer of the privy council, and the reports which are annually published by many of
our officers of health.

An article on the sanitary elate of Manchester, which appeared in the Quarterly
Journal <>f Science for April, 1867, reveals a condition of the dwellings of the poor which
seems almost incredible to those who have not previously studied this important but
uninviting subject. In many parts of Ireland, as we learn from Dr. Mapother, the
dwelling-places of even the small farmers are hardly fit for a healthy existence. Dr.
Tucker of Sligo draws the following picture of "the homely hovel of a small farmer,
which maybe taken as the prototype of many. It was about 12 ft. wide and 24 ft.
long. The domestic circle that dwelt therein consisted of a sick man, his wife, four
daughters, one son, three cows, one horse, two calves, two pigs, and poultry all in one
common undivided house, without a partition. Generally the pigs dwelt beneath the
beds, the people in them, and the poultry overhead." On the evils, physical and moral,
arising out of such a system it is unnecessary to dwell.

Much has of late years been done in London (by the benevolence of baroness Coutts,
Mr. Peabody, alderm'an Waterlow. and others) and in many other large lowus to improve
the dwellings of the poor, and to give them, on moderate terms,' si far more healthy and
commodious house-accomodation than they could otherwise cbtain. Many of these
improved dwellings seem fever-proof, and the death rate has been found much lower
than in adjacent places. Even without the aid of private benevolence the erection of
blocks of improved dwellings for the working-classes has proved remunerative. Five
conditions are requisite in order to insure healthy habitations, on whatever scale they
may be constructed; (1) A site dry and not malarious, and an aspect which gives light
and cheerfulness; (2) a ventilation sufficient to carry off all respiratory contaminations
of the air; (3) a system of immediate and perfect sewage removal; (4) a due supply and
proper removal of water; and (5) a construction of the house such that perfect dry ness
of its foundation, walls, and roof is insured. For further information on this impor-
tant topic, the reader is referred, inter alia, to the various works of Mr. Godwin, espe-
cially his Another Blow for Life; to Mr. Hole's interesting book entitled Tlie, Homtzofiht
Working-cbixxe*; and to' Dr. Mapother's Lecture* on Public Health (2d ed. pp. 297-326).

SEWAGE is sufficiently considered in the special article devoted to that subject (see
also SEWAOK EAKTII-CLOSET); and we pass on to another subject closely connected with
hygiene viz., the DISPOSAL OF THE DEAD. _To see the importance of this subject the



reader must know something of the changes which (he body undergoes after death. A
body tliat lias been buried gradually breaks up iuio a large number of comparatively
simple compounds, such as carbonic acid, ammonia, sulphureted and carbureted
hydrogen, nitrous anil nitric acid, and certain more complicated gaseous matters with a
very fetid odor, which finally undergo oxidation; while the non-volatile substances
usually enter into the soil, and either pass into plants or are carried away by I he water
percolating the soil. These changes are accelerated by the worms and other low forms
of life that usually swarm in decomposing bodies; and the character of the S"il irmteri-
i ally influences the degree of rapidity of destruction. The bones remain almost un-
changed for ages. If a body is burned, decomposition is incomparably more rapid, an<j
different volatile combinations may arise; the mineral salts and a little c;,rl,ou alonj
remaining. The question for our consideration is, what is the best method (>'. disposing
of our dead, so that the living may suffer the least? Putting aside the vision try scheme*
for turning tin; dead to commercial account, there are three methods fr,.- consideration
viz., burial in land or in water, or incremation. At present, as Dr. P;.rLes observes, th$
question is not an urgent one;but it may become so in a century or tv/o, if the popula-
tion goes on incre isiug at ths present rate. Even in our own time a g-.-e-it change has
taken place, and the objectionable habit of interments in and round oil arches in town*
has been given up, cemeteries in the country being now commouh employed, except in
the case of country villages. The air over cemeteries is, however, r,l.vays contaminated,
and water percolating through them is unfit for drinking purposes; ami there is a gen-
eral and very decided opinion that the vicinity of graveyards is unhealthy. The evils
are lessene I by m.ikinr, the grave as deep as possible, and by pudng not more th.m one,
body in one grave. Plants should be freely introduced into every Cemetery, for the absorp
tion of org.inic m liters an 1 of c.irb:>:iic acid; an, I the most rapidly-growing trees and
shrubs should be selecte 1, in preference to the slowly-growi.i ; cypress and yew. W&
may add tint the superficial spice which should be allotted tv each grave varies in dif-
ferent countries fro:n 3J to 93 ft., and that tiie depth sho J.1 bj at least 6 feet. It i&
req. fired by law that the grave spaces for above ] years of age shall be at least

9 ft. by 4, and those for children under 12 years, 6 ft. by 3. It is likewise required that
not less than 4 ft. of earth sln.ild 1)3 place 1 over the co.ii r t of an adult, an 1 6 ft. above of a child. The time which sh mid el.ipse before a grave is disturbed for a naw
tenant v. tries with the soil and the distance of ths body fro:u the surface. U .id jr favor-
abb circumstances, a i containing an ad.ilt will disiippe.r.' with its contents in about

10 years; while in a clayey or paity soil it will re;n ftu a century. It Is ly assu ne 1
tint a period of It yeir.s is su lieient for the d;c:iy or an adult, but long before this lime
all will h:ive disappeared but the skeleton. If tho question should i:i course of tini3
arise bel.veen burying in the sea and burning, if, will bs decided. Dr. Purkes believes,
in favor of the former, on tli3 following g-or.ids: "It is true that t!ie impurities in
burning be well diffused into the atmosphere at large, and would not add to it any
perceptible impurity. if tli3 burning is not complete, feti.l orginic in ittcvs aregivea
oif, wiiich lung cloud-like in the air, and may be perceptible and even hurtful. Asa
matter of expense, too, the system of increm uio;i would b3 greater than the btirid at
sei. la tlie burial at sea the body would go it o;iC3 to support, other forms of life m.)r3
rapidly than in the c.ise of land burial, an 1 \vit::>ut the danger of evolution of hurtful
products." On this subject the reader may further consult the report drawn up by Mr.
Chad wick on the. state of ce ueteries; the report of the general board of health, 18-33 (of
which Mr. Clia Iwi ;k and Dr. Southwoo.J S:nith were members), on the same subjoct;
Dr. M-ip >ther's 14:h lecture " ou the burial of the dead;" and a work published by M.
FavroL, entitled llistoire dss luhum'tHon*, 1807.

The reports to which we have just ^erre I contain abundant evidence of the neces-
sity for the universal establishment of mortuaries, or houses for the reception of the
dead until the period of the burial. In some par's of Germany, the deposit of the dead
in such houses is compulsory; and in many parts of the continent, there are laws rigidly
enforcing the burial within a certain number of hours after death.

Befjre proceeding t > consider how far our sanitary regulations have effected a saving
of hum in life, jt is expedient to give a brief notice of the chief acts of parliament which
havv! p iss (!. and government reports that have been officially published, bearing on
imp >r;a:it sanitary subjects. Beginning with 1833, in which the factory children's act
was passed; in 183 1. the practice of employing climbing boys for sweeping chimneys
j was abolished; in 184') and 1841, the act 'to "extend the practice of vaccination was
passed; and in 1812, the employment of women and children in mines and collieries was
abolished. Then appeared the general local reports on the sanitary condition of the
laboring classes, 1842, wiiich constitute, as Dr. A. P. Stewart well observes, a "remark-
able series of volumes, for which we were indebted chiefly to Mr. Chadwick, and which,
revealing as they did an almost incredible state of matters in our crowded centers of
population, were read by multitudes with a st ran ire and eager interest." T/'ie Medical
and L,g>t>, A*pect* of tinnitury R,:form (18G7), p. 5. These Reports of the Health of Towns
Commission led to the passing, in rapid succession, of " the acts fcr promoting the c-tab-
lishincnt of bath anil wa-h-houses in Groat Britain and Ireland, in 18-46; the towns
improvement act, in 1847; the public health, the nuisances removal, and the city of
London sewers acts, m 1848; the metropolitan interments act, in 1850, followed in "


by a similar act for the whole of England; the act to encourage the establishment of
lodging-houses for the laboring-classes, and the common lodging houses act, in 1851 ; the
metropolitan water act, in 1852; the smoke nuisance abatement (metropolis) act, and the
act to extend and make compulsory tlie practice of vaccination, in 1853; the merchant
shipping act, with its stringent provisions for the preservation of the health of our
mc-rchant stamen, in 1854; the diseases prevention, the metropolis local management,
the metropolitan buildings, and the nuisances removal amendment acts, in Ib55; and
the public heal.h act of 1858, which abolished the general board of health, and vested
its powers in the privy council. Since then, there have been added to the statute-books
the nets for the purification, of the Thames, in 1858 and 1866; the act for preventing the
adulteration of articles of food and drink, in the same year; the acts (passed in 18(50,
186i, and 1834) which included, under the provisions ot the factory acts, women and
children employed in bleaching and dyeing works, in lace factories, and in the manufacture
of earthenware, of lucii'er-matches of percussion caps and cartridges, of p iper-staining and
of fustian-cutting; the vaccination amendment act in 1861; the ad for the seizure of diseased
and unwholesome meal, and the alkali works act, in 1863; the sewage utilization act,
in 18(55; the laboring-classes' dwelling-houses act, and the sanitary act, in 1866."-
Stewart, op. cit., p. 6. The last-named of these acts the sanitary or public health act
of I860 contains certain clauses with which every one should be acquainted. Its lirst
part is an amendment of the sewage utilization act, 1865, and provides, inter alia, that
any owner or occupier of premises within the district of a sewer authority shall be
entitled, under certain conditions, to cause his drains to empty into the sewer; but it a
dwelling house is without efficient drainage, the s-cwer authorities may require the owner
to make a sufficient drain, emptying into a sewer, provided the latter be not more than
100 ft. distant; and that the sewer authority may provide a supply of water for the use of
the inhabitants of the district. The second pan is au amendment of the nuisances removal
acts the word " nuisance" being made to include (1) any house or part of house so
overcrowded as to be dangerous or prejudicial to the health of its inmates; (2) any factory
or workshop not kept cleaned and properly ventilated; (3) any fireplace or furnace not, as
far as possible, consuming its own smoke; and any chimney (not belonging to a private
house) sending forth black smoke. The rules for tho removal of such nuisances are
laid down. The nuisance authority, moreover, h.;s power to enforce U.e cleansing and
disinfecting of houses or articles therein likely to retain infection, and to fine those who
disregard the injunction ; to provide a proper place for disinfecting clothing, bedding, A,
etc., and to effect the disinfection of such articles; to provide carriages for the convey-
ance of infected persons to hospitals, etc. The ?5ih clause is so important, and its
nature so very little known, that we extract it verbatim: " If any person, suffering from
any dangerous infections disorder, shall enter any public conveyance without notify-
ing to'the owner or driver thereof that he is so suffering, he shall, on conviction thereof
before any justice, be liable to a penalty not exceeding 5, and shall also be ordered by
such justice to pay to such owner or driver all the losses and exp-nses they may suffer
in carrying into eifect the provisions of the act; and no owner or driver of any public
conveyance shall be required to convey any person so suffering until they shall have
been first paid a sum sufficient to cover all such losses and expenses." The net further
lays it down that, places for the reception of the dead maybe provided at the public
expense, and that any justice may, on the certificate of a legally qualified medical prac-
titioner, order the removal thither of the bodies of those who die of infectious disease;*
and gives permission that special places for the performance of poxt-ntortem examination
may be provided. The third "part of the act is headed "miscellaneous." It treats of
various points for the better management of lodging-houses, lays a penalty not exceeding
5 on any person with infectious disorder exposing himself, or on any person in charge
of such a sufferer causing such exposure; and a penalty not exceeding 20 on persons let-
ting houses, rooms, or part of a house in which infected persons have been lodging, with-
out having such houses, or rooms, and articles therein, disinfected to the satisfaction of a
qualified medical practitioner (the keeper of an inn is deemed to Jet part of a house to
any person admitted as a guest into such inn). It is very much to be regretted that most
of the provisions of this and other acts bearing on public health are permissive, and not

We may note that since 1858 a public health department hns been established in tho
privy council, and. lhat the medical officer of the privy council, Mr. Simon, has, since
that date, published an annual report of the proceedings taken under tho public health
act, 1858. These reports, of which nine have now appeared, are of the highest impor-
tant; and we should not omit to mention that the progress of sanitary science has been
considerably advanced by the publication of an annual volume (of which seven have now
appeared) of statistical, sanitary, and medical army reports, by the establishment of the
epidemiological society and the social science congress, and by the publication of their

It is much to be regretted that the privy council does not more energetically carry

* Liverpool alone, so far as we know, has as yet. taken advantage of this clause. The council have

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 29 of 203)