Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/581

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

The Annals of the Cakchiquels. The Original Text with a Translation, Notes, and Introduction. By Daniel G. Brinton A.M., M.D. Philadelphia, 1885 Pp. 234.

 


POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Employés and Employers.—The Lehigh Valley Railroad Company has established a relief fund into which the employés put voluntary contributions, and for every dollar put in by a person in its employ the company puts in another dollar. Thus, if the 14,000 employés contribute a dollar each, the company will contribute $14,000. The management of the fund is in the hands of President Wilbur and Paymaster Wilhelm. In case a contributor is disabled by accident, he is allowed three fourths as much per day as his contribution in the fund every working-day during his disability, for a period of six months. In case the accident results in the death of the contributor within six months, or if he is instantly killed, $50 is appropriated from the fund for the funeral expenses. If he leaves a widow and children under sixteen years of age, an allowance of one half the amount of his contribution, for every working-day, is appropriated and paid the widow for one year from the time of the contributor's death, provided she remains unmarried during that time. If there be no widow, then the allowance goes to the children, if any, for the same period. In case the contributor loses a limb, he is provided with an artificial limb, and employment is given to him.—Railway Review.

 

Vapor-and Hot-Air Baths.—The value of hot-air and vapor baths, as well as of other means of promoting the perspiratory function of the skin, has been recognized from very ancient times; and nearly all peoples are acquainted with some means of producing the desired effect. The modes of taking these baths are exceedingly various. Among them are the Turkish and Russian baths, which are, however, usually arranged on too large a scale to be regarded as practicable for small households. Of hot-air baths, the extemporized "rum-sweat" is among the most common. The naked person is seated in a chair, enveloped in blankets which, spread over the chair, inclose him as in a kind of tent extending from his neck to the floor. The heat is supplied by burning spirit contained in a small earthen vessel, which is slipped underneath the chair. This method is attended with considerable peril, the reality of which has very recently been forcibly brought to mind by the death of Dr. W. B. Carpenter, who, taking a hot-air bath in almost precisely this way—using a gallipot of burning spirit instead of his bath-lamp, which was out of order—upset the vessel in changing position, and was so severely burned by the ignited vapors that he died in about four hours afterward. One of the simplest forms of vapor-bath was the old "hemlock-sweat," which, while it was a rude and far from convenient application, was efficacious, and had the character of a medicated bath. Hemlock-boughs, with the leaves, were broken up into a pail, and hot water was poured upon them, with the effect of immediately "steaming" the hemlock. The pail was then slipped under the blankets with which the bather was invested, while simultaneously a red-hot brick was dropped into it, whereby the bather was immediately involved in a profusion of aromatic steam, as hot as he could comfortably endure. We remember to have seen, many years ago, a simple, cheap, and tolerably convenient portable vapor-bath, in the shape of a chair constructed especially for the purpose, with provisions for burning alcohol with reasonable safety and producing steam, all contained within itself. The safest and most convenient arrangement which has come under our notice is the "Home Vapor-Bath," which was invented by Mr. William W. Rosenfeld, it is said, when he was only sixteen years of age. It is compact, and can be introduced, at small expense, into any house having "hot-water" attachments. It is applied to the ordinary bath-tub as it is found in nearly every good house, and, depending wholly upon the use of the hot-water pipe of the tub, avoids the direct application of fire. It can be used with any bath-tub, in addition to the other and usual arrangements, and without disturbing any of them. The principle of its operation consists in subdividing the hot water into small jets over a large area, so as to allow the maximum of evaporation. This is ac-