Mad for Mading: A Glimpse Into the Past of Public Health

Keya Gokhale
Special Collections Intern

Are you a current public health student or researcher? Do you just love old books? Come check out the Mading collection at the McGovern Historical Center! It is a one-stop shop for information regarding the worldwide history of public health. It has works dating back as far as 1767, all the way up to the mid 20th century. Topics covered include yellow fever, cholera, public sanitation, typhoid, epidemics, typhus, sex education, and infant nutrition. It is fascinating to see how attitudes and information regarding these topics have changed over the last couple of hundred years. Notable authors include Daniel Defoe, Absalom Jones, and Benjamin Rush.

Titles available include:

Dreadful Visitation: in a Short Account of the Progress and Effects of the Plague, the Last Time it Spread in the City of London, in the Year 1665. By Daniel Defoe. | This pamphlet is the oldest work in the collection, being published in 1767. Its author, Daniel Defoe, is best known for his book Robinson Crusoe.

 

Town and Country Friend and Physician : or, An Affectionate Address on the Preservation of Health, and the Removal of Disease on its First Appearance. By James Parkinson. | Dr. Parkinson left this small handbook to his community upon his retirement. It was meant to serve as a reference guide to treating life’s ailments in his absence.

Town and country friend and physician : or, An affectionate address on the preservation of health, and the removal of disease on its first appearance. By James Parkinson-1803. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Town and Country Friend and Physician : or, An Affectionate Address on the Preservation of Health, and the Removal of Disease on its First Appearance. James Parkinson. 1803. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Account of the Bilious Remitting Yellow Fever : as it Appeared in the City of Philadelphia, in the Year 1793. By Benjamin Rush. | Benjamin Rush was a physician and one of the founding fathers of the United States.

 

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and Infants’ Milk-Foods, with Special Regard to Hygiene and Sanitary Milk Inspection : a Labor. By Nicholas Gerber. | This book provides an interesting look at different types of milk and infant feeding options in 1882. Written by the founder of the Gerber Method. 

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and infants' milk-foods, with special regard to hygiene and sanitary milk inspection : a labor. Nicholas Gerber. 1882. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Chemical and Physical Analysis of Milk, Condensed Milk, and Infants’ Milk-Foods, With Special Regard to Hygiene and Sanitary Milk Inspection : a Labor. Nicholas Gerber. 1882. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People : During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia, in the Year 1793: and a refutation of some censures. By Absalom Jones. | Absalom Jones was the first African American ordained priest in the United States.

 

New York (N.Y.). Mayor’s Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York. | Believe it or not, public baths were still popular in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This book, published in 1897, examines ways to improve the city’s baths and make them more sanitary.

New York (N.Y.). Mayor's Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York-1897. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

New York (N.Y.). Mayor’s Committee on Public Baths and Public Comfort Stations. Report by the Mayor’s Committee of New York. 1897. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Sex Instruction in Public Schools. By Willard Beatty. | This pamphlet from 1936 provides a surprisingly insightful and modern outlook on sex education in schools.

 

Treatise Upon the Causes, Prevention, and Cure of Fever and Ague, and All Forms of Miasmatic Diseases : Sanative Rules for Those Living in Malarious Districts. By W. Griswold. | In the early 1800’s, it was commonly believed that “bad air” or “miasmas” were the means by which infection spread. It was not until later that the germ theory of infection gained popularity.

 

Other items from the collection shown below. Look how unique looking some are!

Map of London from the mid 1800's. From "Snow on Cholera" by John Snow. 1936 edition. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Map of London from the mid 1800’s. From “Snow on Cholera” by John Snow. 1936 edition. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Insanity and Insane Asylums. E.T. Wilkins. 1872. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Insanity and Insane Asylums. E.T. Wilkins. 1872. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Reports from the Massachusetts state board of health. 1897-1915. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Reports from the Massachusetts state board of health. 1897-1915. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Summer and its Diseases. By J. C. Wilson-1879. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

Summer and its Diseases. J. C. Wilson. 1879. [Mading Collection, McGovern Historical Collection, Texas Medical Center Library]

 

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Posted in Mading Collection, Public Health, Rare Books, Special Collections

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