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March 13, 1943


JAMA. 1943;121(11):806-810. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840110008003

While it is true that modern war, the organized killing of our fellow men and wholesale destruction of the products of human toil, can be waged most efficiently by men between the ages of 18 and 35, the industrial needs of this war have already demonstrated anew several important facts about the older industrial worker, facts well known but forgotten or ignored in the plethora of peacetime manpower and in the fog of a social philosophy according to which a life of leisure is heaven and society must feed, clothe and house all idle chicks whether or not these chicks can scratch.

These facts are:

  1. The physiologic age of the worker is not synonymous with his chronologic age, owing to the individual variables in heredity, mode of living, accidents and sequelae of disease.

  2. While most workers past 50 or 60 years of age have somewhat less physical strength