JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There is a warehouse of boxes of books set into rows, and at the back of a row of boxes is a column of boxes, and in the bottom box of the column at the bottom of a stack of books sat the unpromising-sounding "A Sanitary Survey of Woods Hole" (1926). Woods Hole (in Barnstable County on Cape Code) as most people would know it today is the home of the largest privately-funded oceanographic research institution in the U.S. (organized in 1930), though when this report was written in 1926, it was still a fairly sleepy resort town for the privileged of Boston and NYC.
- This document is available for sale at the blog's bookstore, here.
The report (written by James Bernard Graeser) is pretty much as it says, including a social health history of the small town. But tucked away in the back of this typescript is what seems to be an original health notice (printed on cloth) outlining what people should not be throwing into the ocean and harbor. It uses some surprising language--at least to the 21st century reader--which is a little on the disturbing side, though there would not have been a need to print such a poster and put it up around town if there wasn't a need.
Strong stuff. "...(O)r cause any animal to be drowned in such waters"?
The ironic part of this is that one of the areas referenced is Penzance Point, which was a wealthy summer home development, and which had been built on the site of the Pacific Guano Company (bust in 1886), "which produced fertilizer from guano imported from islands in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, and the coast of South Carolina" (Wiki)