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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 11, 2009


JAMA. 2009;301(10):1077. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.217

The American Civic Association is carrying on an educational, suggestive and cooperative campaign in several directions for the esthetic and sanitary welfare of the community. In the former regard it is taking much needed measures to prevent the destruction of those wonderful natural beauties, the falls of Niagara, at present threatened by a greedy commercialism that sees no limits to the supremacy of what it terms utility over the esthetic sense, forgetful of the fact that the esthetic sense itself is an important utilitarian factor in the moral and mental welfare of the human race. Another abomination against which it has set itself is the fungating excrescence of unsightly billboards disfiguring the country. In cities, at any rate, these hoardings—as has been recently pointed out in relation to board fences by Dr. W. H. Atkinson,2—have a sanitary aspect. The third object, and the one most directly in line with public hygiene, is the advocacy of public comfort stations in our large cities. In this respect the United States is far behind all European cities. If the American Civic Association can aid in the more general adoption of these important necessities for the public health it will certainly accomplish a praiseworthy work.

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