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J. A. (Joel Asaph) Allen.

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judgment his country depends, must seriously tone down to his
mental education. Now, more than ever, he needs physical exer<^
cise and diversion to keep his brain and nervous system in good
working order.

Thus far we anticipate no difference of opinion ; it is in regard
to what constitutes proper and rational amusement — for amuse^
ment must necessarily accompany exercise to benefit the mind
— that we may diverge. Of course, it will be understood that what
we have in mind relates to practices in the higher departments of
education, where we expect to find sensible men and youths who
would scorn to be called boys. Base ball and rowing have always
been deemed legitimate modes of exercise and amusement, but of
late there has been transported from England an abomination
called football ; not that it is particularly new even in our own
country, though formerly it was not deemed the chief mark -of
distinction in our colleges. Now, owing to an emulation more
honored in the breach than in the observance, some of these have
acquired a notoriety scarcely less repugnant to the good sense of
the community than that of professional athletes and bruisers.

In the contest thus inaugurated, mere physical strength and
brutal weight must necessarily carry the day against higher and
more refined organizations. If these contests could be confined to
the coarser and less intellectual of the students, perhaps no great
harm would accrue, but, through the esprit de corps which must
necessarily exist in such institutions, more delicate youths, whose
physique no more fits them for such rough usage than to match
a Sullivan or a Mitchell, are drawn in sometimes to danger of life
and limb. Nor is this a figure of speech, for besides the maimed
and injured that with nearly every set-to require surgical aid, too
often it happens that life itself is lost. Only a few days ago
a youth, who might have become a blessing to his country, was
overwhelmed by a brutal crowd and killed.

Briefly, there can be no excuse for such rough play among
gentlemen, and when it comes to hiring professional athletes,
the whole matter takes on a still more reprehensible face. The
only apology offered by writers in newspapers for football contests
in colleges amounts to this: they are not as bad as they are repre^



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TOPICS OF THB MONTH. 357

Bented. A writer in one of our medical journals even comes to
Ibeir rescue, yet he has a nice little catalogue of broken bones and
other injuries to report, intending to minimize the dangers ; but
as he only refers to Harvard, where we ought to look for the most
gentle students, since the Hub is so near, his list of injuries are
not to be taken as an average. If it be true, as alleged, that
football in colleges is practised only by crews selected for their
prowess and special training, all argument for its continuance
based on need of physical exercise in keeping up a healthy condi-
tion of mind and body falls to the ground.

This leads us to consider another side of the subject : Is there
hot danger that contests by proxies {i. «., selections of a certain
bumber of athletes,) may lead to neglect of regular and proper
gymnastic exercises by those who most stand in need of them ?
To class football with boating and baseball is misleading ; these
may, it is true, be carried to dangerous excess, but they are, when
properly carried on, exhibitions of skill and scientific training —
not a vulgar rough and tumble pel mel. That boys should love
Buch sport is easily understood, but it is difficult to see how it can
be popular with men of cultivated manners. It may be that our
protest will avail nothing against a practice so popular in our
collegiate institutions, that advance in science or learning is no
longer the test of their products, but rather the physical endur
ance or athletic powers of their respective teams. Whole sides of
our most important newspapers are filled with the details of these
performances, and their young lady friends are not ashamed to
witness these exhibitions and applaud to the echo. Still, it were
criminal to withhold our censure when we know that such games
are fraught with physical danger, and believe them to be contrary
to the best ethical culture.



TOPICS OF THE MONTH.

A SPECIAL committee appointed by the President of the Medical
Society of the County of New York in April last, to consider the
propriety of proposing an amendment to the medical laws regu-
lating the practice of obstetrics by midwives in the State of New
York, has recently made its report. The proposed bill consists of
ten sections, and may be summarized as follows : First, every per-
son practising midwifery shall possess a certificate from the State
Board of Medical Examiners. Second, within thirty days after



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858 BDITOBIAL.

the passage of the act, every such person shall apply to the State
Board of Medical Examiners, under oath, for a certificate author^
izing the person named therein to practise midwifery in this State.
Third, every person hereafter beginning the practice of midwifery
shall be examined by the State Board, and, if successful, shall be
entitled to a certificate. Fourth, certificates are to be filed in the
county clerk's office. Fifth, licenses may be refused to persons of
bad character, or who are guilty of unprofessional or dishonest
conduct, and the State Board may revoke licenses for similar
causes. Sixth, fees and penalties are prescribed, and the usual
details with reference to explanation of the meaning of the act are
given. We believe this is a beneficial and humane proposition^
and it should be passed by the Legislature without opposition. A
statute regulating the practice of midwifery uniformly throughout
the State has long been needed.



The manager of the Daggett Table-Company, who was recently
arrested at the instance of Mr. Anthony Comstock, special inspector
of the Post Office Department, for the alleged transmission of
obscene literature through the mails, has been discharged by Com^
missioner Faircbild, on the ea;/>ar^6 statement of Mr. Comstock
himself. It appears that the Daggett Table Company has issued
an illustrated catalogue, with male and female figures posed in
various postures on the several tables that the company manufac*
ture, and have sent these pamphlets to the profession of medicine
through the mails, which is the head and front of the offending to
Mr. Comstock's over-sensitive ocoular apparatus.

The tables in question were invented by Dr. B. H. Daggett, of
Buffalo, a physician in regular practice, and in good standing in
the several medical societies— city, county and State — of which
he is a member. He is, moreover, a surgeon of skill, and has dis^
played much originality in devising many mechanical appliances
used in the surgical art. At first, he manufactured the tables him^
self, but as the business increased in its proportions a company
was organized, and Mr. B. B. Daggett, son of the inventor, waa
appointed its manager. This young man was arrested, as has
already been stated, the business was brought to a standstill, ancl
so held for about two months, but he was finally discharged with-
out being obliged to offer any defense, the prosecution having
failed to make a case. Such a mistaken interpretation of the law as
Mr. Comstock made, and the gross injustice perpetrated on indu



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TOPICS OF THE MONTH. 359

yidnal rights, ought not to pass without the severe condemnation
of every good citizen.



The Maltine Manufacturing Company, of New York, has issued
an attractive calendar for 1894, consisting of six folios, with two
months recorded on each folio. Each page has also something to
say with reference to maltine, and its various combinations, used
in the treatment of disease.

But more than this : each page contains a photogravure of a
prominent physician, the following names comprising the list : Dr.
Joseph D. Bryant, of New York, Dr. William Pepper, of Phila-
delphia, Dr. N. S. Davis, of Chicago, Dr. Henry O. Marcy, of
Boston, Dr. Hunter McGuire, of Richmond^ and Dr. Lewis A.
Sayre, of New York. With the exception of Dr. Pepper, it will
be observed that these are all conspicuous examplars of the code of
ethics of the American Medical Association. They have been
conspicuously prominent of late in waiving the banner of the code
over the American medical profession, and have especially
denounced advertising by the publication of interviews or personal
pictures in the newspaper press. What shall be said of men who
preach one doctrine for the mass of the profession of medicine,
and practise another for themselves ? For, assuredly, there can be
little ethical difference between permitting the publication of
photographs in newspapers and in a neat advertising medium like
the one in question.



The recent death of Dr. Edward Warren-Bey calls to mind many
circumstances connected with his picturesque career. The journals
have chronicled the details of his early life and his noted profes-
sional career in America, including his service as surgeon in the
Confederate army, and his return to Baltimore after the war,
where he resumed his medical practice and became professor of
surgery in the Washington University Medical School. It was
during this time that Dr. Warren became a conspicuous figure in
the famous Wharton-Ketchum murder trial in 1871. It is related
that Dr. Warren, in the course of this trial, made a retort to a
lawyer that rendered him famous throughout the world. The
Attorney-General of Maryland, Mr. Syester, who was conducting
the case for the prosecution, having pressed Dr. Warren sharply
for answers favorable to his cause, in which he was foiled, the



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360 EDITORIAL.

Attorney-General exasperatingly exclaimed, " Doctor's mistake!
are generally buried." " Yes," was Dr. Warren's quick reply,
"and lawyer's mistakes are frequently hung."



The fog-horn epidemic has finally reached Buffalo, and, to the
almost endless catalogue of noise nuisances already existing, must
be added that of the fog-horn nuisance. For the past three
months and more, night and day, the people of Buffalo have been
reminded of the fact that this prosperous city is also one of the
most important ports on the great lakes. Nerves have been jarred
in the day time and sleep has been disturbed at night by the
almost never-ceasing tooting of this abomination of modern civil-
ization. While it must be confessed that it is humane and proper
to take timely and abundant care to prevent disaster to the life
and property of navigators of the lakes, it must be admitted that
tho^ who consent by force of circumstances to reside upon land
have some rights that ought to be respected. Without entering
into a detailed argument at this time as to reasons pro and con on
this subgect, we shall content ourselves with merely remarking
that if we must have fog horns it would be eminently proper to
place them sufficiently out to sea to prevent their intolerable toot-
ings from destroying the health and comfort of people who reside
on land.



We wrote cheerfully last month of the deliverance of the people
of Buffalo from the discomforts of travel in the cold street cars,
basing our statement upon a published interview with Manager
Littell, who, it was alleged, had stated that stoves had arrived and
would be placed in all the cars as soon as the work could be con-
veniently and properly done. But it seems that we were too
sweeping in our assertions. The good people residing along the
Elmwood avenue route and its contributory streets, according to
Mr. Littell's latest edict, are not to enjoy the luxury of warm
street cars this Winter. We are thankful, however, for even some
relief, and perhaps in due time the entire city will be adequately
and comfortably served with cleanly and well warmed street cars.



Dr. Hermann M. Briggs, bacteriologist to the Health Department
of New York, has recently made a report, in which he shows that
more than 6,000 deaths were reported in that city last year as due



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TOPICS OF THE MONTH. 361

to consumption. It will thus readily be understood that this is
the most common and fatal disease prevailing in New York. What
is true of New York, in this regard, is likewise true of the country
in general, excepting, of course, some specially favored localities,
wherein the disease is comparatively unknown. It is high time
that people were awakened to a knowledge of the fact that con-
sumption is not only a communicable disease, but also that it is
absolutely preventable when all known factors of prevention are
invoked.

It is a well-known fact that dried sputum, broken up into fine
particles, is one of the most highly dangerous methods of com-
municability. It is terrible to contemplate the carelessness with
which consumptives are permitted to travel by rail and water.

Medical Director Albert L. Gihon, U. S. N., in his address as
president of the section of Hygiene, Climatology and Demography,
in the first Pan-American Congress, used the following words :

The consumptive, whose traits no professional acumen is required
to recognize, frequents our crowded thoroughfares, sits beside us in
unventilated street cars and at the hotel table, occupies Pulllnan sleep-
log berths, and shares the steamship state-room, wholly unrestrained
and innocently ignorant that he or she may be sowing the seeds of
disease among delicate women and children. Any one may verify this
who uses his eyes for the purpose along the railway and coastwise
steamer routes to our invalid resorts. Within a twelvemonth, on my
way to Mexico by rail, I was a fellow-passenger with two invalids in
the advanced stage of phthisis, en route for San Antonio, one of whom
occupied the opposite berth, and the other one diagonally across the
car, so that I could see and hear them coughing and expectorating,
with only such attention as well-intending but unskilled relatives could
render. They had no vessels for receiving their sputa, which was dis-
charged in their pocket handkerchiefs, to be scattered over pillows,
coverlets and blankets. They left the car in the morning, and I saw
those same berths, it is true with change of linen sheets and pillow-
cases, but with no change of blankets, mattresses, or pillows, occupied
that very night by other travelers, who were thus subjected to contact
with a pathogenic microbe far more tenacious of life and power of evil-
doing than the dreaded cholera spirillum.

One has only to sit in a crowded street car on a winter day, and
watch the clouds of respiratory steam circling from the mouths and
nostrils of the unclean and diseased into the mouths and nostrils
of the clean and healthy, as the expiratory effort of the one cor-
responds with the inspiratory act of the other. The road is short,
but straight and sure, from vomica and mucous patch to the



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362 SDITOBIAL.

receptive nidus in another^s body. Who that has ever had forced
upon him an aerial feast of cabbage, onions, garlic, alcohol, tobacco,
and the gastric effluvia of an old d^bauoh^, can doubt that aqueous
vapor can transport microscopic germs by the same route ? Not
long ago I traveled by sea from New York to Charleston, and for
two nights was cabined with some twenty consumptives going to
Florida. The air was chill, and they huddled around the stoves and
fearfully and fearlessly closed doors and windows, until the atmosphere
became stifling with their emanations and the dried sputa, which they
ejected on every side. It was comparatively easy to escape during the
day by staying on deck, and I slept with my state-room windows wide
open, but the curtains, carpets, pillows, and mattresses had been satur-
ated by I know not how many expectorating predecessors. I have
visited fifty small-pox patients a day, have gone through yellow fever
wards, and stood by cholera bedsides with far less apprehension than
I experienced on that trip, yet it was one taken by many thousands of
people, who would have been terrified to know that a case of cholera
was within a mile to leeward of their homes.

Here is a picture that is a sad one to contemplate, yet it is a
fact that all railway travelers, and even, to a certain extent, those
who ride in steamships, are exposed to similar dangers, while
innocently regarding themselves in an atmosphere of safety. It is
high time that the people became aroused to the necessity of cor-
recting evils that are fraught with such subtle and terrible danger.



General Georoe S. Field, President of the Board of Public
Works of Buffalo, if be is correctly reported, has recently said that
three-storied school houses have already been decided on by the
commissioners, since it has been found that children do not object
to going up stairs and the doctors even recommend it, stating that
the exercise brought new sets of muscles into play. General
Field is admittedly an excellent engineer and withal a famoua
traveler, but he evidently falls in the rear of the column of pro-
gress when he discusses the school house question from the stand-
point of the foregoing interview.

We are at a loss to know how any doctor of standing in his
profession could have advised in the manner quoted by General
Field. It can only be accounted for on the hypothesis that the
doctors consulted know more of politics than of school house sani-
tation. That the children do not object to going up stairs is no
argument in favor of the plan, since they are, for the most part,
too young to exercise intelligent judgment on the subject. While



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TOPICS OF THE MONTH. 36^

it is true that the exercise of climbing stairs brings into play
muscles that are little used on a level, yet it is also quite true that
this slight advantage is counterbalanced manyfold by the disad-
vantages which result from hastily climbing flights of stairs by
school children. This is especially true of girls between the ages
of ten and sixteen, when their pelvic organs are developing and are
otherwise undergoing changes to fit them for useful womanhood.
The mere act of going up and down stairs is not deleterious in and
of itself, provided the transit be performed slowly and the flights
are few and short ; but who ever knew of a group of school child-
ren to go up and down stairs slowly ? No child, however, can go
up even two flights consecutively without becoming unbreathed.
We will not quarrel with the number of stories that General
Field puts upon his school houses, provided he makes plans for
keeping the girls on the ground floor. But, since this is impossi-
ble in accordance with the present graded school system, we advise
General Field to countermand all orders for school houses over
two stories high.

A NEW and elegant operating room was opened at the Sisters of
Charity Hospital last month, which, for convenience and adapta-
bility, is unsurpassed. It consists of a central amphitheater
surrounded by four separate rooms, one for dressing, one for the
surgeon, and two for narcotizing patients. The amphitheater has
an inlaid cement floor slanting toward the center, where it opens,,
properly trapped, into the sewer. The side walls are of tile, and
the ceiling of heavily enameled plaster ; three rows of seats, about
100 in number, surround the operating table in such a manner
that the view is unobstructed.

Altogether, it presents a very neat and business-like appear-
ance, and does great credit to the sisters in charge, proving that
they are wide-awake and appreciate the enormous demands and
possibilities of modem antiseptic surgery. We take pleasure in con-
gratulating them and our city on the possession of such a gem, and
predict that the public will not be slow in arvailing itself of it when in
need. The clinics of the medical department of Niagara University
will be held there every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 to 12
A. M., and the profession is cordially invited by Dr. Mynter to be
present.



The church-bell nuisance continues to menace the health and life
of the community, notwithstanding the numerous requests that



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364 PEBSONAL.

have been made from time to time for its suppression. If there
can be anything more exasperating or trying to the nerves than
for a sick person to be awakened at four or five o'clock in the
morning by the numerous bells in St. Michael's tower, miscalled
chimes, we do not know it It is high time that the health author-
ities interfered in this matter and suppressed this menacing and
almost intolerable nuisance.



Thb County Hospital plan, by which it is proposed to convert the
Erie County Almshouse into a hospital, with a staff of attending
physicians and surgeons, is making progress. The differencev
heretofore existing among those interested in the scheme seem to
have been adjusted, and it now only remains for the Board of
Supervisors to* do their duty to consummate this humane and
greatly needed change. We hope to be able to chronicle next
month the details of the plan and to publish the names of the staff
that have been agreed upon.



pert^onaf.



Db. Abraham Jacobi, of New York, has been offered the Chair of
Pediatrics in the University of Berlin, made vacant by the resig-
nation of Professor Henoch. We are glad Dr. Jacobi has declined
the honor, and will remain in New York to- grace the Chair of
Clinical Pediatrics in the College of Physicans and Surgeons, and
to continue an ornament to the American medical profession.
This is the first time such a distinction has been offered to an
American physician. We take pleasure in printing the following
editorial comment from the New York Tribune, of December
2, 1893:

It is a high and most unusual compliment which has been paid to
Dr. Abraham Jacobi, of this city, in the invitation which lately came
to him to assume a chair in the University of Berlin. While appre-
ciating the compliment, New Yorkers cannot but rejoice that Dr. Jacobi
promptly declined it. He has become so much attached to New York
and to this country, that he feels his home to be here, and nothing
apparently would induce him to make so radical a change as was pro-
posed. He has lived here almost forty years, and has been an import-
ant factor in the community. We are glad that his eminent position in
his profession has received this distinguished recognition, and glad
that Dr. Jacobi is to remain one of our fellow-citizens ; and we are sure



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PEB80NAL — COLLEGB NOTES. 365

that this opinion will be shared by all who know him, either personally
or by reputation.



Dr. Horace F. Clark, of Buffalo, at the meeting of the Section
on Laryngology and Rhinology of the New York Academy of
Medicine, December 27, 1803, reported a case of epithelioma of
the larynx, and one of sarcoma (melanotic) of the nose.



Dr. J. W. Long, formerly of Randelman, N. C, has removed to
Richmond, Va., and has been elected Professor of the Diseases of
Women and Children in the Medical College of Virginia. Dr.
Long will devote himself exclusively to the practice of his chosen
specialty.

Dr. Seneca D. Powell, Professor of Surgery in the New York
Po8t-6raduate Medical School and Hospital, was elected president
of the Medical Society of the County of New York, at the annual
meeting, held October 23, 1893.



Dr. Ernest Wbnde, Health Commissioner of Buffalo, has been
elected a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society, London.
This honor has been most appropriately conferred, in this instance,
on a distinguished American student of microscopy.

Dr. Roswell Park, of Buffalo, whose severe illness from diph-
theria we chronicled in November, has recovered, and is again at
his post of duty. Dr. Park is to be congratulated upon his prompt
restoration to comparatively good health after so serious a struggle
with such a dangerous and even treacherous malady.



The election of class officers of the class of '94 in the Medical
Department of the University of Buffalo was lately held with the
following result : President, Myron A. Fisher ; Vice-President,
Herriott C. Rooth ; Secretary, Mrs. Jane North ; Treasurer, La
Verne C. Colegrove ; Orator, Ernest R. Ruffner ; Historian, Mil-
ton P. Messinger ; Prophet, Eugene Caswell ; Poet, Miss Angeline
D. Smith ; Marshal, John Chalmers ; Sentinel, Charles F. Tucker.
After the election the successful candidates entertained the
class at supper.



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366 OBITUARY — BOCIETT MEETINGS.



Online LibraryJ. A. (Joel Asaph) AllenBuffalo medical journal → online text (page 37 of 78)