Saturday, June 19, 2010

Horror in Providence

The "white plague", or consumption, was terrifying and officials began "scientifically" in the early 20th century. However, as in averly Hills Sanitorium of Louisville (of which Chrispy has visited and written of) Providence's stalwarts did odd things. Here is one in Lovecraft's era - he would have been about 17 at this time. Ice cold air was considered healthy and curative.

The first American open air school as that term is now understood was opened in January 1908 in the city of Providence RI The location was a room in an abandoned schoolhouse This room was remodeled by converting the ordinary four sided classroom into one of three sides leaving one entire side open to the air In this room the Providence authorities began in the dead of winter to teach a class of children variously termed anaemic and tuberculous The children wore outdoor wraps sat in warm sitting out bags and on cold days had warm soap stones at their feet They were well fed and their school studies were reduced in quantity They immediately began to improve both physically and mentally and made marked advances in their school work Six months after Providence began work an open air school for tuberculous children was started in one of the parks of Boston Mass
A cyclopedia of education, Volume 4 edited by Paul Monroe. p. 549.

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