On doing research for a piece of work I am doing I have found the holy grail of life prior to feminist influence and ‘always on’ technology. The Silent Hostess was a contract publishing venture with General Electric, based in Canada in the 30’s (!). Most of the articles within the home makers bible, hummed subtle undertones of a modern day advertorial, carefully crafted into pieces of inspiring and practical articles.
It's easy for every Tom, Dick and Harry to jump on the austerity bandwagon, but in some ways it is calming to look at such an old publication for reassurance. The similar graphic layout to The Gentlewoman is simple, and gorgeous, I wish it was still in press!
‘Are you losing friends?’ an article taken from Issue 5, Volume 3 appeared as a guideline to living life happily, way back in 1931. Eerily, the moral message and tone of the article relates to the modern woman, giving some bang-on insights into finding, or at least encouraging happiness in modern day life. I found it such an interesting piece that I've copied it for you all to look at.
Are you losing friends?
Check up on your health
by D.B Armtstrong, M.D.
Fourth Vice President, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Health, wealth and happiness. We all, in search of those treasures, have obeyed at some time in our lives, the good old adage, ‘Early to be and early to rise’ hoping for the gold that’s at it’s rainbow-end.
It is true, as the adage preaches, that we need generous doses of sleep. But there are other things; too, that we must do it we are to achieve the great blessing f good health and some of its consequences.
Every wise mother knows this. She knows she has certain duties to perform to keep her family vigorous and healthy. And that is pays. It pats in freedom from worry, in leisure in achievement. It pays even in dollars.
Everyone should train himself to observe the few fundamentals of health. But it is the mother of a family who bears the largest responsibility for the health of her husband and children. Health depends largely on habits. And the habits of the home are very largely determined by the woman who manages it.
Good health for the average person rests, as we all know, on very simple things, sleep, fresh air, sunlight, exercise, cleanliness, waters, right food, comfortable clothing, recreation and good mental habits. And whether the family mixes this invigorating prescription and takes a dose of it every day, usually depends on the wife and mother of the household.
One of the most important health-makers is sunlight. The wise woman raises the windows and lets fresh air and the direct rays of the sun stream into he house. She knows that these rays create, directly under the skin, the mysterious vitamin D, which is necessary for the assimilation of our good – to turn food into good bone and muscle and other bodily substances. In so doing, it prevents rickets in little bones and makes strong, active children. Sunshine coming through ordinary window glass is not so effective, so she sees too, that the children spend house our-of-doors every sunny day. She arranges at least an hour a day out-of-doors for herself that she may go back refreshed and ready for the incessant demands on her time and energy.
Fresh air and sunlight kill germs too; persons who spend much time in the open and who live and work in well-aired rooms, are not so liable to get tuberculosis and possibly certain other diseases as those who are shut up in stale, sunless rooms. During the glorious days of summer, by being much in the outdoors, we can literally store up treasures of health for ourselves.
Throughout the ages, it has been recognised that sunlight is essential to health. Maybe earlier generations did not know just why –that sunlight creates vitamin D and destroys germs – but the fact that its self has always been too familiar.
So, too, other laws of hygiene and health remain the same as always; such laws as those requiring eight hours of sound, undisturbed sleep for the average adult daily, and more for children’ water used plentifully both for internal and external cleanliness; daily exercise done with muscles relaxed and free, and preferably out-of-doors.
Recreation is also essential. Well-chosen, it recreates both body and mind. The best recreation is generally the opposite of one’s work. The desk-man may find his outdoor games or in hunting and fishing. The person who has to talk to people all day long may turn to a restful book or music. The housewife, whose day may have been spent alone or with her children, probably enjoys seeing people, playing bridge, going to the theatre. Hobbies take people out of their narrow little ruts and are real health makers. IF you or some member of your family are taking small worries too seriously, getting too tense, losing sleep and maybe losing friends, too- take time off and play.
But one of the most important factors in a health program, and one for which the housewife is chiefly responsible is good food. When a woman goes to market, the health of her family may depend on the wisdom of her bargains. Three times a day, she must chose good, cook it and serve it and see that husband and children get the proper amounts of variety. She must supply the right kinds of good – milk and other dairy products, fresh vegetables, fruits and salads, breads, cereals, and moderate amounts of meat. She must combine them into well-cooked appetizing meals. The table should be clean and attractive, conversation pleasant. Family arguments, business worries, or gloomy news should have no place in table conversation, for a depressed stat of mind is a bad appetite for digestion.
But one feature alone neglected, may undo all her other painstaking effort. Food improperly refrigerated may be spoiled food when it is taken into the human body and so, can cause disease.
The proper care of food is a year-round necessity and extremely important in summer. For then, when ordinary methods or refrigeration are inadequate, food quickly spoils. And spoiled food is dangerous food.
A steady temperature always below 5 degrees Fahrenheit, such as produced by an electric refrigerator, is required to keep food from spoiling. Bacteria, yeasts and molds attack food that is too warm, and sometimes their action leaves no visible trace. Here lies the danger, for the presence of certain bacteria in spoiled food may have disastrous effects on the health. Certain outbreaks such as so-called ptomaine poisoning – which is, in reality, food poisoning – often are to be traced back to improper refrigeration.
Food should be bought only in clean shops where it is carefully protected from flies and provided with proper refrigeration. This care should be continued in the home if you wish to protect your family’s health.
There is one more aid to keeping food health – a happy outlook on life. Cultivate the habit of liking other people; of expecting to enjoy both work and play; of making hard decisions promptly; of sticking to a task you have started until it is done.
If you cannot look at life in this way, if you are unhappy and depressed, have a talk with your physician. A physical examination may disclose what is wrong, possibly show that you have been breaking some of the health rules I have mentioned, and set you again on the way to good health. It is a good idea to check up on health, in this way, about once a year.