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October 11, 1902

THE NEW GOSPEL OF DIRT.

JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(15):918-919. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480410042009

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Abstract

A writer announcing himself as a surgeon in one of the great hospitals and professor in a physiomedical college of one of our leading cities and medical centers, has recently given to a metropolitan journal an article nearly two columns long in condemnation of bathing, especially in the winter time. According to him a bath is a perilous thing. It is a custom of an innervating civilization, the natural man gets along without it—the more bath tubs and hot water the weaker the race. We can admit that the habitually unbathed individual is stronger in a sense and to some senses, but our author goes farther and claims that with every hot or cold bath in cold weather we invite pneumonia; that only the excretion loaded cuticle can give the proper protection. He has learned, he says, from actual experiment, on himself and others, that the skin does not need

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