The subject of this paper is an analysis of the dermatologic cases treated in the years 1896-1901 at the United Hebrew Charities Free Dispensary of Chicago. It is a story of the morbidity of the poor and partly, also, a mirror of their life.
The dispensary is located in the so-called Ghetto district of Chicago, where the chief unsanitary conditions are darkness, lack of air, uncleanliness and poisonous gases. Robert Hunter, in his publication, "Tenement Conditions in Chicago," thus describes the state of affairs in this district:
"Musty, fetid rooms, which can not be ventilated because of brick walls overshadowing the windows, inevitably accumulate in their dark corners dirt, mold and vermin. * * * Emanations from the body and foul air in dwelling and sleeping rooms have no outlet except by thorough ventilation. * * * An average of three persons living in one room with 200.64 cubic feet of air per person to breathe
FISCHKIN EA. SIX YEARS IN A DERMATOLOGIC CLINIC.A REPORT OF SERVICE, WITH REMARKS ON THE TREATMENT OF THE MORE COMMON SKIN DISEASES.. JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(8):427–432. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480340021001h
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