Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/116

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
PSM V80 D116 Exhibition bridge over the street.png
The Bridge over the Street.

plan and organize the exposition, was in no department of the exhibition better shown than in the historical division. There was to be no mere comparison between what hygiene is now and that which it represented fifty years ago, but the problem before the organizers was to trace the whole history of hygiene from the remotest beginnings to the present time and to illustrate this gradual evolution by pictures, models and objects, actually dating from those times.

Among the prehistoric Kelto-germanic exhibits could be seen foodstuffs, etc., dating from the stone age. A wall picture from a slightly later period displayed the remarkable fact that the wasp-like waist so much admired on the part of the female sex to-day had been already the ambition of the prehistoric woman. To ward off disease by the wearing of amuletes was already then in vogue.

Prehistoric Babylon shows that, in these remote times, the most detailed precautions were already taken for keeping all sorts of insects off from food articles, especially during the serving of them. The hygienic tendencies of old Babylon are shown in the technique employed in the construction of their wells, canalizations, bathing establishments, latrines and burial systems. The practise of isolating cases of infectious disease, of cleaning food-stuffs before they were eaten and of setting aside a fixed number of days for rest and recreation, was already then commonly observed in Mesopotamia.

The significance of old Jewish hygiene is abundantly shown, in the directions on the treatment of articles of food, the regulation for sexual intercourse, the treatment of excrements, burial rites, instituting the regular sabbath which has conquered the world, the priestly inspection of lepers, preserved in old and time-honored rolls of the Tora and further illustrated by sketches, photographs and models.

In prehistoric Egypt,the manifest tendency of preserving the human body after death for a future life in an unchanged form is