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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1885.

EDUCATION AND THE HEALTH OF

WOMEN. THE tendency to apply the exact methods of science to problems of education, is one of the most hopeful signs of present pedagogy. One of the more fruitful lines of application will be found, doubtless, in the consideration of educational questions in relation to the wider sphere of social science, and the application of the statistical method. As one of the first fruits of this application, we hail the returns collected by the Association of college alumnae, wisely embodied in the current report of the Massachusetts labor bureau. These are directed especially to ascertaining the effect of education upon the health of women, but there are incidentally discussed a number of other very interesting problems. The returns include 12 institutions, which had (1882) graduated 1,290 women, from 705 or 54.65 per cent of whom returns have been received. Of these the average age at beginning study was 5,6 years; at beginning of menstrual period, 13.6 years ; at entering college, 18.3 years; and at the present time, 28.5 years. This gives about six years as the average time since graduation, certainly ample for the determination of the general effects upon health of their collegiate training. Of the 705, 19.5 per cent report a deterioration in health during college life ; 59.3 per cent, no change ; 21.1 per cent, an improvement. The corresponding figures for working girls of Boston show a deterioration of 16 per cent, a favcrable balance of 3.5 per cent in favor of the working girls. The total number of disorders reported by the 705 is 865. The aetiology of disease, as reported, is exceedingly defective, but we give it for what it is worth. 135 consider constitutional weakness cause of disorders ; 81 bad sanitary conditions ; 81 intellectual overwork; 73 emotional strain, ard 47 physical accident, while the others report no

Defective as this report is in detail, it is remarkably suggestive. The general conclusion stated in the report is that the health of women engaged in the pursuit of a college education, does not suffer more than that of a corresponding number of other women in other occupations, or without occupation.

This general conclusion may be allowed to stand. But the figures are not worked for all they are

worth.' A more detailed examination of them brings out the following points which the report fails to explicitly notice.

Of those who entered college one or two years after the commencement of the menstrual function 20.5 per cent had poor health during the four years of college life, while of those entering three to five years after its establishment 17.7 per cent, and more than five years 15.4 per cent had poor health. The following figures tell the same story with slight variation : of those who entered at the age of sixteen, or under, 28.1 per cent deteriorated, 17.2 per cent improved in health ; of those seventeen to nineteen 17.3 per cent deteriorated and 19.7 per cent improved ; while of those who were twenty or over •17.9 per cent deteriorated, while 28.4 per cent improved-almost exactly reversing the figures for the youngest class. The fact that of the married 37 per cent are without children, although the average number of years spent in married life is 6.2, must be included in any discussion that wishes to reach complete results. There were, moreover, to those bearing children but an average of two children to every seven years of married life, while, if all married couples are included, the average falls to 1.2 children for five yerrs. With such statistics, however, there must be borne in mind the general falling off in fertility of all women occupying about the same social rank. Of the children born, 12 per cent have died, and of these the unusually large per cent of 25 is due to causes occurring contemporary with birth, still, premature birth, etc.

The following figures fall into the same category. During the period of development 53 per cent were troubled during the menstrual period with disorders, including irregularities, uterine and reflex pain, one, two, or all three.

During college life the per cent was 66; since graduation 64. If mere irregularities be isolated, and they and the more organic disturbances treated separately we find: Irregularities alone-development, 16 per cent; college life, 9 per cent ; graduate life, 7 per cent. Uterine and reflex pain-development 24 per cent; college life, 36 per cent ; graduate life, 36 per cent. Of the disorders reported 7 per cent are brain troubles, 33 per cent nervousness, in addition to which 15 per cent report neuralgia; 26 per cent disorders of generative organs.

We give only figures, and these only such as bear directly upon the central question of the health of woman in reference to her education.

cause.

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They certainly show that the time for optimistic certain notable deficiencies. The physical, social congratulations is not yet reached.

and moral environment of the students during The other general conclusion of the report that college requires infinitely more investigation. The such falling off in health during college life, as did details concerning intellectual surroundings are appear, is due rather to predisposing causes, than comparatively full, though the number of hours directly attributable to college life itself, brings of study should be given instead of the indefinite out some very interesting contributions to the terms, “moderate,' severe.' The inquiries conscanty generalizations we already possess, con- cerning social surroundings are virtually confined cerning the relations between health and social to the inquiry as to whether the person entered environment. First as to heredity: A total of 35 society,' a little, a good deal, or none. Such vague per cent report a tendency to disease inherited expressions are worse than none. The question from one or both parents. Those inheriting ten- is as to how the student spent the hours of social dency from one parent only present some slight recreation, and how many were so spent. The falling off in good health when compared with complete answer of this question, it is hardly too the entire average; while for those inheriting from much to say, would throw more light on the both 58.3 per cent are in good health ; 41.7 in hygienic problem than almost all else. It should poor, the average for all being 83 and 17 per cent include information as to whether the institution respectively. For the 65 per cent inheriting is female only or co-educational; what its social tendencies from neither the figures are 85 and 15. relations are to the town in which it is situated, As to relative change there is for those inheriting the nature of the town; whether the young women from both a relative decrease of 19.5 per cent in live in dormitories, in cottages, in selected homes, those having excellent health ; an increase of 24.6 or in ordinary boarding houses ; what regulations, per cent in those having poor ; the corresponding if any, the faculty have made concerning study figures for those inheriting from neither being an hours, and the hours not spent in study; whether increase in good health of 2.6 per cent, a decrease the institution has a matron ; whether her duties of poor of 1.6. The following tables show the extend to moral and social matters, or to physical effects of exercise, worry and study upon health: only; whether the institution has a gymnasium,

etc. Complete answers to such a protocol of

questions as these suggest would show what was Healtb.

meant by saying that 81 regard bad sanitary conHours taken.

ditions as cause of their diseases, 135, constitu

tional weakness, and 73, emotional strain. If Per cent.

the association will study the conditons of the problem along this line, and frame questions

accordingly, they will deserve still more at the WORRY.

hands of both the scientific educator, and the social

student. Meanwhile we will be thankful for what

Health,
Concerning.

we have.

JOHN DEWEY.

EXERCISE.

Good.

Poor.

0-2..
2-6.
6 and over

Per cent.

75
83
81

25
17
16

Good.

Poor.

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THE CLAPP-GRIFFITHS BESSEMER

PLANT. THE Bessemer process of converting molten castiron into steel by oxidizing and removing its carbon and silicon by blowing immense volumes of air through it, appears to be entering a new phase. Aiming for many years almost solely at the production of rails, the captains of the Bessemer industry found it much easier to satisfy the demands of purchasers as to the quality of their product than those of their employers as to its quantity. Hence arose the present type of Bessemer plant, in which no expense of construction is spared which promises to increase the quantity and thus to diminish the cost of the product. To-day, however, the uses of Bessemer steel are being rapidly extended and diversified. While most of the new demands

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can be most naturally and economically supplied lieved that like carbon it greatly exaggerates them. by the large Bessemer works in our manufacturing This belief is somewhat strengthened by the fact centres, the magnitude of whose operations enables that phosphoric samples of Clapp-Griffiths steel, them to profitably employ the best talent and ma- when low in both carbon and silicon, are surprischinery and to produce at the smallest cost, geo- ingly ductile. But whether their ductility be due graphical conditions occasionally favor the erec- merely to low carbon or to the combination of low tion of small steel works ; for example, where a carbon with uniformly low silicon, it is interesting special demand for Bessemer steel, too limited to to inquire whether it be due to conditions which warrant the erection of full sized works arises in a can be regularly imitated in the large scale Besseplace remote from all existing Bessemer works, mer works ; if it be, then, since the magnitude of and where pig-iron is cheap, owing to the imme- their operations enables them to produce more diate vicinity of iron blast-furnaces. Here it might cheaply, an important if not the chief ulterior rebe cheaper to convert the local pig-iron into steel sult of the development of the Clapp-Griffiths at local works, even if they be so small that the plant and practice will probably be to teach the cost of treatment is somewhat high, than to trans- metallurgists of our large works how to produce port the iron to distant works, have it there con- more uniformly ductile steel from given pig-iron, verted into steel, and then bring it back to the and, aiming at a given degree of ductility, to emstarting point.

ploy more phosphoric, and hence cheaper, pig-iron To meet such cases several small and compara- than heretofore. Let us, therefore, consider the tively cheap arrangements of the Bessemer plant explanations which have been advanced of the rehave been designed, and one of these, the Clapp- sults obtained in the Clapp-Griffiths practice. Griffiths, has kindled quite a glow of interest 1. The uniformly thorough desilicidation has been in this country, which judicious and energetic attributed to the unusually low blast pressure emfanning and puffing bid fair to convert into a ployed. While it is conceivable that, by increasveritable craze. Since the arrangement aims ing the tendency of carbon and oxygen to dissoat a comparatively small output, some sacrifice ciate this might favor the oxidation of silicon, of rapidity and cheapness of working are properly this explanation seems far fetched and insufficient. made in order to diminish the cost of the plant But, if low blast pressure be the cause, the ordiitself. The costly rotating converters of the ordi- nary Bessemer works can employ it by making nary plant are replaced by the cheap Swedish their vessels wider and the bath of metal shallower stationary converter. The blast is introduced, not than at present. as in the ordinary converter at the bottom of the 2. It has been attributed to admitting the blast deep bath of metal, but near its upper surface, so near the top instead of at the bottom of the bath that, having little resistance to overcome, blast at of metal ; this is supposed to cause a local excess low pressure, and hence furnished by cheap blow- of oxygen in the upper part of the bath with the ing apparatus, may suffice. Moreover, towards the formation of iron-oxide (the copious evolution of end of the operation and while the steel is being red smoke at the commencement of the operation tapped out of the converter, the blast is admitted is adduced as evidence of this) which is supposed very slowly, to avoid .over-blowing’; and a hole to attack silicon rather than carbon. But the early is provided in the shell of the converter at such a appearance of iron-oxide in the flame of the Clappheight that the slag runs out through it during the Griffiths converter may indicate, not that it is a converting operation. I mention these latter de- more active, but actually a less active agent than tails because they are supposed to play an import- in the ordinary converter (I will not pretend to say ant and unlooked-for part in the chemistry of the what its true significance is). If we confine our process ; indeed, the plant itself, of good but not ideas to a very minute quantity of metal immediremarkable design, is of interest to the readers of ately in front of any one tuyere of the ordinary Science, chiefly because it is claimed that it re- converter we realize that, in this restricted space, moves silicon more uniformly and completely than oxygen is nearly, or perhaps quite, as much in exthe ordinary Bessemer plant does. The effect of cess as it is in a similar space in front of a Clappphosphorus in rendering steel brittle has long been Griffiths tuyere. If iron-oxide forms in the latter, known to increase with the proportion of carbon it will also, and perhaps to an equal extent, in the present. A percentage of phosphorus which would former. We do not see it escaping from the ordihave little effect on steel containing only 0.15% nary converter, probably because it is reduced by carbon would change steel with 0.5% carbon from the carbon and silicon and slagged by the silica it a valuable ductile metal to a worthless brittle one. encounters in its long upward path through the While some have maintained that silicon counter- superincumbent metal, while in the Clapp-Grifacts the effects of phosphorus, many have long be- fiths converter, dragged along by the blast, its

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