Healthy Living by Charles-Edward Amory Winslow appears to be a textbook used in Oklahoma Public Schools at some point well into the 20th century. How does The Droning Voice know this? Because on the back of the book there is this notice:
“OKLAHOMA EDITION” and some other blather about it being the property of the State of Oklahoma and insinuations that the price listed had better by-golly be what is paid for the book. If the State bought it, it was 50 cents. If an individual bought it, the book was 55 cents. Nowadays, of course, that would be completely flipped, with the individual paying 50 cents per book, and the State (aka “taxpayers”) paying $500 per book. Such is progress. There is also an “Oklahoma Supplement” after the index which discusses issues peculiar to rural living and schooling. Lest city-slickers start feeling smug and superior, there are also plenty of grainy photos showing tenements on the East Coast, with text describing their unsanitary conditions. Ewwww. There is also, in the “Oklahoma Supplement”, an early form of product placement by the Portland Cement Company of Chicago, which offered to provide – free of charge – plans for a residential septic system (at least they did in 1920). The Droning Voice believes all her listeners would be well-advised to have a set of these plans on hand, just in case, and should immediately demand said free plans from said company.
The Droning Voice was unable to ascertain exactly what age group this book was targeting. The illustrations show children who appear to be 8 to 10 years old engaging in “healthy” activities and games (none of which involved helmets or other protective gear) while wearing knickers and beanies. There is also a grainy photo of a classroom where the students are all huddled under what appear to be parkas while sitting – as attentively as they can whilst being huddled – at their desks. Apparently lack of heat was not a reason to not learn about Healthy Living back in the 1920’s.
If listening to detailed descriptions of proper sanitation both residential and municipal, microbes, diseases, and first aid are your cup of tea, this probably will not help you sleep. If you are an “anti-vax-er” the chapter on immunization may trigger you. (Back in the 1920’s, wiping out diseases like Small-Pox seemed like a good idea.) But if you take your health for granted, if you assume you will always have fresh water and clean air, if you have a robust Health Insurance Plan that will address your every sniffle, this may be just the thing to put you to sleep.
Now open your windows for the fresh air “Healthy Living” prescribes (yes, even in the winter), and take in deep slow breaths as you lay back in the proper attire for sleeping. Unless you live in Los Angeles, in which case, shut all the doors and windows tightly and curl up in a ball next to your air purifier.