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ple of the country. I mean those relating to the breaking-down of the mind. Our medical friends, who have charge of the insane, and who have earned our gratitude by so far consummating their plans for the cure of mental disease, should also begin to devise means of prevention. Many of them will tell you that "two-thirds of these cases of insanity under our charge could have been successfully treated in childhood, youth, or middle age, by training or by other means within human control." And further they will tell you that a very large number of the insane never come within the walls of asylums. Certainly if the professional skill of the educator is ever to be perfected, a great mass of these facts must be gathered and used. They must be carefully observed, accurately recorded and collected, and the result will be an easy impression on the judgment of educators. Then, in our buildings for educational purposes, whether for primary, elementary, or secondary schools, for colleges, professional, or special schools, we shall begin to understand how to adapt air to life, light to the eye, and surroundings to health. We shall reach a method of health, not only to the body but to the mind. Whereas now, if the facts are correctly stated, with all the good we are doing and trying to do, we must confess with shame that we are doing much to cause the very results we are seeking to avoid.

I remember the impression made upon me in college by having a man at my side break down with insanity. It has been one of those startingpoints, beginnings of thought, which will crowd one to the end of life. I have since known similar cases. I have met them in different parts of the country, and followed some into the asylums. In this matter I am confident that, if educators will use the resources at their command, they can so modify the courses of study, and the methods, and time, and surroundings of instruction, as to secure greater health of mind.

Early in my study of education, looking at the child with an anxiety to understand what his normal training should be, I found myself seeking out the most degraded youth in the community, to learn the abnormal side of human nature, that I might better know what it should be in its normal condition; and I was amazed at the philanthropy educators have been compelled to exercise to make their efforts successful. I found it of the greatest possible advantage to visit the prison and the pauperinstitution, to study all these conditions of the human being, as full of instruction, showing what was to be avoided and what was to be modified in the methods of instruction that we were pursuing.

Now, on this subject of health, it has seemed to me that professional educators need to go to the physician, as this association has gone tonight; to bring in his experience and expedients; to go over on the diseased side of the human system; to bring to their aid the observations that have been recorded, until the sentiment is roused that should permeate the whole country and the modifications which we all regard as necessary are adopted.

It has been exceedingly gratifying to find a hearty response from the whole country to everything the Bureau of Education has published as the result of observation on this subject. Boards of health and individual physicians write us what they are trying to do and beg us to go further; many inquiries and suggestions bear on this educational point. I have great hope that those gentlemen in charge of asylums for the insane will begin a series of observations on a concerted plan, from which professional educators shall be able to gather a vast amount of wisdom now hidden from them; that we shall learn from the medical profession what diseases in their practice come from the school-room; what diseases among the young are due to misdirected education in the home or the school; and that this knowledge shall be conveyed in such plain terms that none can fail to understand and heed it.

I hope that this subject will not receive merely sentimental attention, but that there will be organized action. It has been so deeply considered by the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science and by the National Health Association, that they are both making the same inquiries in the same general direction. I hope educators will take hold with them and aid them in collecting facts that will end in a satisfactory result; and that such action will be taken before we adjourn as will have an immediate influence upon the gentlemen here as they return to their respective posts of duty. [Applause.]

Dr. L. H. STEINER, of Maryland, said:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I have nothing to add to the views which Doctor Bell has so clearly presented in reference to the necessity of proper ventilation in our schools. Hardly any superintendent is present who has not had abundant illustration of the fact that 25 square feet of space are not allotted to the pupil of the common school. During my own career as a county-school-superintendent, I had quite a number of schools where I should have been very well satisfied if I could have had 8 square feet to each pupil occupying the room. At the present time—and I do not wish to exaggerate—I can recollect where in one instance 6 square feet was about the maximum to each pupil. The ventilation, however, it is proper to state, in this case, was secured in another way, not by architectural intent, but by the moldering effect of time, which had greatly relieved the chinking and daubing placed properly between the logs, in the first instance, in its erection, and allowed a very free circulation of air. [Merriment.] The difficulty was on the score of heat, and not of ventilation. Possibly the health of our country children is saved from the evil effects of badly-constructed rooms just in this way. I have often wondered, looking at a school where the children were seated upon slab-benches, with not enough sitting-space for each pupil to sit fairly and squarely fronting the desk, how they had the bloom of health on their cheeks. This was due possibly, in the first place, to a naturally good constitution, inherited, and, secondly, as I have already said, to the moldering effect of time, which the architect never contemplated.

One mode of reaching, however, a healthy action in this case, I think, would be by some little instruction in our schools. I do not wish to add another branch to those studies that children are obliged now to take up, but I think some little attention should be paid to this very subject of respiration; what is meant by it; what is necessary in it; how dependent health is upon it. The child will take this novelty home, and the younger the child, I think, the more certainly will he take home everything he hears from his teacher, rather than what he gets from his books. The child will take this home, and thus we will begin just at the right point, with the parents,

and not with the legislatures of the State, not with the school-boards. You cannot get school-houses constructed properly unless the people understand what a properly-constructed school-house is.

Now, start in the way I have suggested. Let the parents understand the necessity, and they will demand that the school-house shall be constructed in such a way as to allow not only proper light and proper heat, but also that there shall be the proper ventilation.

I merely throw this out for what it may be worth for the gentlemen who are practically connected with the schools of the United States.

This matter of early instruction in practical science-the every-day sciences-is too much neglected in our schools, probably from the fact that many teachers are unfit to do anything of the kind. Others think they cannot teach unless they have text-books. In other words, they cannot teach unless they are asking questions and receiving answers. If that idea could be thrown aside and if the teachers could at once undertake, little by little and day by day, to give some information to their pupils on these all-important subjects, I am satisfied that it would bear its rich fruits, through the parents demanding of the school-authorities the fullest and most satisfactory evidences of their children's education. [Applause.]

Dr. A. N. BELL said:

Mr. PRESIDENT: May I be permitted to say a word in addition to what Doctor Steiner has said? I hope I do it with no want of deference to the information of teachers generally when I state my belief very emphatically that the teachers do not know enough to teach what Doctor Steiner has stated. That is just where the teaching is needed. The school-teachers throughout the country need that kind of instruction. It is not a very long while ago since I met with the principal of a very large school who did not know the difference between radiation and evaporation as applied to heat in his school-room; and, I think, that is just the kind of work, if I understand General Eaton, that should be organized, of instructing teachers; and that the gentlemen, the superintendents who are here to-night, are here to get that sort of information.

A very valuable suggestion thrown out by General Eaton in regard to the causes of insanity I intended to cover to some extent in my brief paper. I believe no one who has ever studied the subject doubts the effects of narcotics, opiates, and stimulants. It is a common acceptation that they are the chief causes of insanity. It does not seem to be understood that carbonic acid is a more quickly fatal narcotic than opium. It takes a very large dose of opium to kill a person in half an hour, but carbonic acid will do it. During the school-age-during the time of growth-the brain is in a state of organization; the structure of the brain is not yet formed. The brain of the child, before ten years, we will say, as compared with that of the adult, is much softer; it contains more water; contains less solid salt; is different in composition. Hence, the effect of narcotics upon the child can easily be perceived. No doctor, who knows how to practice medicine, will give the same proportionate dose of narcotic as of other medicines. The same rule applies as to stimulants of an alcoholic nature. If I want to give the child medicine, I may give it the third or the fourth of a full dose; but if I wish to give the child a sedative, to quiet its nervous system, I cannot give it over onefourth or one-sixth, it may be, of the same preparation. Why? Because its nerves are so susceptible to the influence of the narcotic. Is it any wonder, knowing the effect of narcotics in destroying the mind and producing idiocy, that children who are educated under the influence constantly of small doses and oftentimes of large ones, (and one of the strongest narcotics to which the human being can be subjected is that of carbonic acid,) is it any wonder that insanity should be on the increase or that epilepsy should be tumbling them over in their seats?

Now, I am not aware of any statistics going into the etiology of insanity so far as to attribute it to the effects of carbonic acid on the brain; but I am aware that they do often attribute it to the habit of intemperance. We know that we can inherit a weak mind. But why not classify still more, as among the causes which produce this effect,

that of carbonic-acid gas, which is produced in great quantities in many of our schoolhouses by defective ventilation. It is, of course, true that the paper I read here tonight did not cover a large field on this subject, and I would not add the words I now do but for the fact that I feel that the teachers throughout the whole country need to be taught these very lessons. And scandalous as it may seem to the medical profession, if we count our medical colleges throughout the country to-day, we shall find we have less than half a dozen that embody hygiene in their curriculum; and so with our literary institutions throughout the country. An instance has come to my knowledge in the Columbia Law-School of New York. A gentleman of culture and intelligence had a son there, who, coming home, remarked that it was delightful to get back home again after spending weary days in a college that had no means of getting the bad air out or the fresh air in, except through the doors and windows. This gentleman wrote to the president of that law-college and asked him if he did not think it necessary, in view of the great army he had charge of, to devise some means by which to give the students fresh air. This is the case with public institutions of the highest class all over this country. Let me ask which of our various colleges pretends to pay any attention to these things. They know as well as we do-better, some of them-the influence of these poisons. Does it occur to them really in its great magnitude? Does it occur to us present here to-night that by every breath we draw we multiply the carbonic-acid gas a hundredfold as it comes out of our lungs and that we are respiring it over and over again? Let us, for instance, watch some one enjoying his cigar along the street, and we can see by the smoke from it how far around floats the carbonic-acid gas that has been exhaled from those lungs; and I do not think we would care to respire that


We should take lessons from these things in order to have some appreciation of how these invisible influences are brought around us.

Mr. WICKERSHAM, of Pennsylvania. I do not rise for the purpose of making a speech at all; but, as a large body of the teachers of the country are not here, I thought it might be well for some one to say a word in their behalf. Something has been said here in reference to their ignorance in regard to the ventilation of school-houses and of physiology, chemistry, and all that. Now, I know they do not know more than they ought to about such things, but the ignorance is not wholly on their side.

Now, I have gone about Pennsylvania with a lantern and tried to find a doctor, or any one, to tell me how to ventilate a school-house.

Now, if you will go into any one of our medical societies or consult the wisest member of the medical profession in any of our cities, you will find that each one has his own particular ideas about ventilating or heating school-houses.

Now, I have looked at this whole matter of ventilation. I think I have read the whole thing from A to Z on the subject, and I cannot find that any body of scientific physicians or scientific gentlemen have come to any positive conclusions in reference to this matter; and are the poor school-masters to be accused of ignorance on this subject when these learned gentlemen, graduates of these learned colleges compli mented here, are not fully posted on this matter?

Now, our wise men are assembled at Harrisburg, just now, making laws for the State, as our wise men are assembled here. It has not been

a long while since they became dissatisfied with the air they were breathing in the senate-chamber and house of representatives, and they looked about all over the State to find some one who could tell them how to ventilate them. The committee who had this thing in charge received from the various medical associations all sorts of devices. Some told them they ought to ventilate by having the ventilation from the floor down. Some said that would not do;, there must be upward ventilation; and some said this way and some that, and the confusion was worse confounded. Finally, they got a gentleman from Boston, I think, [laughter,] who put in a ventilating-apparatus for them. I am not sure that he was from Boston, but he came from the East, anyhow, where we get light, and ventilated all the house and senate. And the other day, just before I left Harrisburg, they swept the whole thing out, and said they had better go back to the air they had before than have such ventilation as that. The members who sat under the ventilators said the cold air all came down, and they did not see that any heat went up. And so the ventilators are closed up.

Now, sir, ignorance of this subject does not lie wholly at the door of the poor school-master; it lies at the door of the scientific man as well. I cannot find anybody in the State of Pennsylvania to tell me why the school-houses should be ventilated this way or that. One says one thing and another says another. What we want is some scientific principle, some positive principle, that can be relied upon and that can be applied in all cases. And the same demand exists with regard to heating.

And then, besides that, Mr. President, are we not attributing more diseases to school-room-influences than really belong to them? May not the home be to blame? Are not parents, fathers and mothers, to blame somewhat for these diseases, as well as the poor teachers? Are children taken care of as they ought to be at home? Are they properly nursed? Do they eat proper food? Are they provided with proper clothes? Do they never keep late hours? Do they never eat at improper times? Is not their training, up to 5, 6, and 7 years of age, very different from what it should be? If they will send from their homes children who are healthy in every respect-strong and healthy at 6 years of age-I am not so sure, sir, taking our school-rooms as they are, that we are going to cause the death of very many of them. I think the trouble lies back of the school-house; it belongs to the parent, to the home, rather than to the school. And while I say this I do not mean to apologize for the ignorance of teachers or for the bad influences, the seeds of disease, that are sown in the school-room; but at the same time I believe, so far as my observation carries me out in this belief, that more is to be attributed to the bad influences of the home, to the instruction they receive before they go to school; and I would like our medical friends to look into that matter. I do not believe that hard study hurts anybody. I do not believe that three hours a day or six

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