Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Found: "How tell to whether a Person is Dead or Alive"

[This is from Houghtaling's 1901 Hand-Book, too. --wz]

How to tell whether a Person is Dead or Alive

Apply the flame of a candle to the tip of one of the great toes of the supposed corpse, and a blister will immediately rise. If the vitality is gone this will be full of air, and will burst with some noise if the flame be applied to it a few seconds longer; if life is not extinct, the blister will be full of matter and will not burst. The public will doubtless be glad to know of a simple test which can be used even when there is no reasonable doubt, and thus free the mind of future misgivings as to whether or not a friend or relative might not after all have had some life left when the body was treated as a corpse. Though very few are actually buried alive, many more may be abandoned as dead while life is still in them, and then die from being handled and exposed as corpses are. The test, therefore, should be applied as soon as life is supposed to be extinct, and before an undertaker is called in.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Found: How to Restore Drowning Persons

From Houghtaling's Revised Hand-Book of Useful Information, compiled by Chas. E. Houghtaling, 1901:

How to Restore Drowning Persons

The frequency of accidents should induce every person, whether old or young, to learn the best means known to physicians for resuscitating those who are taken from the water. Just how long a person can lay in water and not be only asphyxiated but actually dead varies, as observation proves. Prompt, intelligent, and persevering means have failed to restore when they have been in the water three minutes; the same means have been successful when ten or more minutes have passed. The symptoms are the same in nearly all--respiration slow, labored or absent for minutes, pulseless, sometimes heart sounds are inaudible and yet they are not actually dead, as efforts to resustitate [sic] often proves. The following rules, laid down by Marshall Hall, the great Scotch philanthropist and physician, are generally used by the faculty and, as they are so easily understood and practiced, are both in this country and Europe placarded by boards of health in cities, around docks and vessels, and many a person has been saved by them.

First.--Treat the patient instantly on the spot, in the open air, freely exposing the face, neck, and chest to the breeze, except in severe weather.

Second.--In order to clear the throat, place the patient gently on the face, with one wrist under the forehead, that all fluid, and the tongue itself, may fall forward and leave the entrance into the windpipe free.

Third.--To excite respiration, turn the patient slightly on its side, and apply some irritating or stimulating agent to the nostrils, as veratrine, dilute ammonia, etc.

Fourth.--Make the face warm by brisk friction; then dash cold water upon it.

Fifth.--If not successful, lose no time, but, to imitate respiration, place the patient on his face, turn the body gently but completely on the side and a little beyond; then again on the face, and so alternately. Repeat this movement deliberately and perseveringly, fifteen times only in a minute. When the patient lies on the thorax, this cavity is compressed by the weight of the body and expiration takes place. When he is turned on the side this pressure is removed and inspiration occurs.

Sixth.--When the prone position is resumed, make a uniform and sufficient pressure along the spine, removing pressure immediately, before rotation to the side. (The pressure augments the expiration, the rotation commences inspiration). Continue these measures.

Seventh.--Rub the limbs upward, with firm pressure and with energy (the object being to rid the return of venous blood to the heart).

Eighth.--Substitute for the patient's wet clothing, if possible, such outer clothing as can be instantly procured, each bystander supplying a coat or cloak, etc. Meantime and from time to time, to excite expiration, let the surface of the body be slapped with the hand.

Ninth.--Rub the body briskly until it is dry and warm, then dash cold water upon it and repeat the rubbing.

Avoid immediate removal of the patient, as it involves a dangerous loss of time; also the use of bellows or any forcing instrument; also the warm bath and all rough treatment.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Found: APD Complaint Report


Complainant reports a couple of "Shakespeares" or Hippies were having intercourse by the bandshell while the bands were playing Sunday. A police car drove by but the officer apparently didn't see them.

Lucille W*********, also observe [sic] another couple there and the boy had the girl bare to the waist fondling her.

Betty also got another report of a couple having intercourse in front of the White House Market late one night.

Betty is concerned about the disease the Shakespearing [perhaps Shakespearins] bring into the city from this situation.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Old-timey photo set:

See a slideshow of the full photoset here, or take a look at a randomized sampling below:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

mad mailman