Health Lessons - Book 1
by Alvin Davison
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Scarcely one half of the children of our country continue in school much beyond the fifth grade. It is important, therefore, that so far as possible the knowledge which has most to do with human welfare should be presented in the early years of school life.

Fisher, Metchnikoff, Sedgwick, and others have shown that the health of a people influences the prosperity and happiness of a nation more than any other one thing. The highest patriotism is therefore the conservation of health. The seven hundred thousand lives annually destroyed by infectious diseases and the million other serious cases of sickness from contagious maladies, with all their attendant suffering, are largely sacrifices on the altar of ignorance. The loving mother menaces the life of her babe by feeding it milk with a germ content nearly half as great as that of sewage, the anemic girl sleeps with fast-closed windows, wondering in the morning why she feels so lifeless, and the one-time vigorous boy goes to a consumptive's early grave, because they did not know (what every school ought to teach) the way to health.

Doctor Price, the Secretary of the State Board of Health of Maryland, recently said before the American Public Health Association that the text-books of our schools show a marked disregard for the urgent problems which enter our daily life, such as the prevention of tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and acute infectious diseases.

Since the observing public have seen educated communities decrease their death rate from typhoid fever, tuberculosis, and diphtheria from one third to three fourths by heeding the health call, lawmakers are becoming convinced that the needless waste of human life should be stopped. Michigan has already decreed that every school child shall be taught the cause and prevention of the communicable diseases, and several other states are contemplating like action. This book meets fully the demands of all such laws as are contemplated, and presents the important truths not by dogmatic assertion, but by citing specific facts appealing to the child mind in such a way as to make a lasting impression.

After the eleventh year of age, the first cause of death among school children is tuberculosis. The chief aim of the author has been to show the child the sure way of preventing this disease and others of like nature, and to establish an undying faith in the motto of Pasteur, "It is within the power of man to rid himself of every parasitic disease."

Nearly all of the illustrations used are from photographs and drawings specially prepared for this book. These, together with the large amount of material gleaned from original sources and from the author's experiments in the laboratory, will, it is hoped, make this little volume worthy of the same generous welcome accorded the two earlier books of this series.































Good Health better than Gold.—Horses and houses, balls and dolls, and much else that people think they want to make them happy can be bought with money. The one thing which is worth more than all else cannot be bought with even a houseful of gold. This thing is good health. Over three million persons in our country are now sick, and many of them are suffering much pain. Some of them would give all the money they have to gain once more the good health which the poorest may usually enjoy by right living day by day.

How long shall you live?—In this country most of the persons born live to be over forty years of age, and some live more than one hundred years. A hundred years ago most persons died before the age of thirty-five years. In London three hundred years ago only about one half of those born reached the age of twenty-five years. Scarcely one half of the people in India to-day live beyond the age of twenty-five years. In fact, people in India are dying nearly twice as fast as in our own country. This is because they have not learned how to take care of the body in India so well as we have.

The study which tells how to keep well is Hygiene. Whether you keep well and live long, or suffer much from headaches, cold, and other sickness, depends largely on how you care for your body.

Working together for Health.—One cannot always keep well and strong by his own efforts. The grocer and milkman may sell to you bad food, the town may furnish impure water, churches and schools may injure your health by failing to supply fresh air in their buildings. More than a hundred thousand people were made very sick last year through the use of water poisoned by waste matter which other persons carelessly let reach the streams and wells. Many of the sick died of the fever caused by this water. Although it cannot be said that we are engaged in real war, yet we are surely killing one another by our thoughtless habits in scattering disease. We must therefore not only know how to care for our own bodies, but teach all to help one another to keep well.

A Lesson from War.—The mention of war makes those who know its terrors shudder. Disease has caused more than ten times as much suffering and death as war with its harvest of mangled bodies, shattered limbs, and blinded eyes. In our four months' war with Spain in 1898 only 268 soldiers were killed in battle, while nearly 4000 brave men died from disease. We lost more than ten men by disease to every one killed by bullets.

In the late war between Japan and Russia the Japanese soldiers cared for their health so carefully that only one fourth as many died from disease as perished in battle. This shows that with care for the health the small men of Japan saved themselves from disease, and thus won a victory told around the world.

The Battle with Disease.—For long ages sickness has caused more sorrow, misery, and death than famine, war, and wild beasts. Many years ago a plague called the black death swept over most of the earth, and killed nearly one third of the inhabitants. A little more than a hundred years ago yellow fever killed thousands of people in Philadelphia and New York in a few weeks. When Boston was a city with a population of 11,000, more than one half of the persons had smallpox in one year. Within a few years one half of the sturdy red men of our forests were slain by smallpox when it first visited our shores. Before the year 1798 few boys or girls reached the age of twenty years without a pit-marked face due to the dreadful disease of smallpox. This disease was formerly more common than measles and chicken pox now are because we had not yet learned how to prevent it as we do to-day.

Victory over Disease.—Cholera, yellow fever, black death, and smallpox no longer cause people to flee into the wilderness to escape them when they occasionally break out in a town or city. We have learned how to prevent these ailments among people who will obey the laws of health.

Until the year 1900, people fled from a city when yellow fever was announced, but now any one can sleep with a fever patient and not catch the disease, because we have learned how to prevent it. Nurses and doctors no longer hesitate to sit for hours in the rooms of those sick with smallpox because they know how to treat the body to keep away this disease. By studying this book, boys and girls may learn not only how to keep free from these diseases, but how to manage their bodies to make them strong enough to escape other diseases.

As the Twig is bent so the Tree is inclined.—This old saying means that a strong, straight, healthy, full-grown tree cannot come from a weak and bent young tree. Health in manhood and womanhood depends on how the health is cared for in childhood. The foundation for disease is often laid during school years. The making of strong bodies that will live joyous lives for long years must begin in boyhood and girlhood.

In youth is the time to begin right living. Bad habits formed in early life often cause much sorrow in later years. It is said that over one half the drunkards began drinking liquor before they were twenty years of age and most of the smokers began to use tobacco before they were twenty years old.


1. What is worth most in this world?

2. How many people are sick in our country?

3. How long do most people live?

4. Why do people not live long in India?

5. What is hygiene?

6. How many more deaths are caused by disease than by war?

7. Give some facts about smallpox.

8. Why do we have no fear of yellow fever and smallpox now?

9. Why should you be careful of your health while young?

10. When do most smokers and drinkers begin their bad habits?



Regions of the Body.—In order to talk about any part of the body it must have a name. The main portion of the body is called the trunk. At the top of the trunk is the head. The arms and legs are known as limbs or extremities. The part of the arm between the elbow and wrist is the forearm. The thigh is the part of the leg between the knee and hip.

The upper part of the trunk is called the chest and is encircled by the ribs. The lower part of the trunk is named the abdomen. A large cavity within the chest contains the lungs and heart. The cavity of the abdomen is filled with the liver, stomach, food tube, and other working parts.

The Plan of the Body.—All parts of the body are not the same. One part has one kind of work to do while another performs quite a different duty. The covering of the body is the skin. Beneath is the red meat called muscle. It looks just like the beef bought at the butcher shop which is the muscle of a cow or ox. Nearly one half of the weight of the body is made of muscle.

The muscle is fastened to the bones which support the body and give it stiffness. The muscle by pulling on the bones helps the body to do all kinds of work. The muscles and bones cannot work day after day without being fed. For this reason a food tube leads from the mouth down into the trunk to prepare milk, meat, bread, or other food, for the use of the body.

Feeding the Body.—The mouth receives the food and chews it so that it may be easily swallowed. It then goes into a sac called the stomach. Here the hard parts are broken up into tiny bits and float about in a watery fluid. This goes out of the stomach into a long crooked tube, the intestine. Here the particles are made still finer, and the whole mass is then ready to be carried to every part of the muscles, bones, and brain to build up what is being worn out in work and play.

Carrying Food through the Body.—In all parts of the body are little branching tubes. These unite into larger tubes leading to the heart. Through these tubes flows blood. Hundreds of tiny tubes in the walls of the intestine drink in the watery food, and it flows with the blood to the heart. The heart then pushes this blood with its food out through another set of tubes which divide into fine branches as they lead to every part of the body (Fig. 5).

Getting rid of Ashes and Worn-out Parts.—The body works like a machine. Food is used somewhat as a locomotive uses coal to give it power to work. Some ashes are left from the used food, and other waste matter is formed by the dead and worn-out parts of the body. This waste is gathered up by the richly branching blood tubes and carried to the lungs. Here some of it passes out at every breath. Part of the waste goes out through the skin with the sweat and part passes out through the kidneys. In this way the dead matter is kept from collecting in the body and clogging its parts.

How the Parts of the Body are made to work Together.—The mass of red flesh covering the bones is made up of many pieces called muscles. Whenever we catch a ball or run or even speak, more than a dozen muscles must be made to act together just in the right way. When food goes into the stomach, something must tell the juice to flow out of the walls to act on the food. The boss or manager of all the work carried on by the thousands of parts of the body is known as the brain and spinal cord with their tiny threads, the nerves, spreading everywhere through bones and muscles. The brain and spinal cord give the orders and the nerves carry them (Fig. 5).

The Servants of the Body.—The parts of the body are much like the servants in a large house or the clerks in a store. One servant or clerk does one kind of work while another does something entirely different. Each portion of the body does a different kind of work. Each one of these parts doing a particular work is called an organ. The stomach is an organ to prepare food and the heart is an organ for sending the blood through the body.

The entire body is composed of several hundred organs. Each of them is formed of several kinds of materials named tissue. A skinlike tissue makes up the lining of the stomach, while its outside is made of muscular tissue. The smallest parts of a tissue are little bodies named cells, and very fine threads called fibers.

Growth of the Body.—The body grows rapidly in childhood and more slowly after the sixteenth year, but it continues to get larger until about the twenty-fifth year of age. Some children always grow slowly, have weak bones, and frail bodies. This is generally so because they have poor food or do not chew it well, and get too little fresh air, sunshine, and sleep.

The use of beer, wine, or tobacco may hinder the body from using food for growth, or they may poison the body so that it will never be large and strong. The body should grow about a hundred pounds in weight during the first thirteen years of life. Whether children grow little or much generally depends on the food they give their bodies.


1. Point out and name four parts of the body.

2. Name the two parts of the trunk.

3. What does the chest contain?

4. What is muscle?

5. How is the body fed?

6. Give three parts taking waste out of the body.

7. Of what use are the brain and nerves?

8. Name two organs.

9. How long does the body continue to grow?

10. Why are some children weak and of slow growth?



Why the Body needs Food.—Every living thing, whether a plant or an animal, needs food. While the whole body lives, a part of it is constantly dying. The entire outer layer of a snake's skin dies three or four times during a year and is cast off, sometimes in a single piece. We can scrape dead bits of skin from the surface of our body at any time. Tiny particles are dying in all regions of the body, and we should soon waste away if food were not taken to make up the loss for the worn-out parts.

The body also needs food to help it do its work and keep warm. The body has the strange power of using food eaten to make the legs and arms move and the brain to think. In doing this the body is said to burn the food.

How the Body burns itself and also Food.—If a boy is weighed just before playing a game of ball and again afterward, he will find that part of his body has been used up and given off in the breath and sweat. He has burned part of his body, and the breath and sweat are like the smoke given off when a match is burned.

One fifth of the air is made of a gas called oxygen. When anything becomes very hot, this oxygen makes it burst into a flame and burn. We breathe in oxygen with the air and the living action of the body causes such a slow union of the oxygen and the tissues that there is no blaze although there is a little heat.

Kinds of Food.—There are four general classes of foods. These are the building foods, the sugars and starches, the fats, and the mineral foods. The building foods are those which help largely in forming new muscle and blood or other parts of the body. Proteids is another name for building foods.

Sugars and starches are placed in one group because starch changes to sugar within the body. If you chew a starchy food like bread for a few minutes, it will begin to taste sweet because the starch is becoming sugar.

Fats are got not only from fat meat but also from eggs, butter, milk, and many other foods. There is some mineral matter, such as potash and soda, in many of the vegetables and meats eaten, and we use much table salt to season other foods.

Body-building Foods.—A person with all the sugar, molasses, starch, butter, and lard he could eat would starve to death in a few weeks because none of these foods would help to build up the dying parts of the body. A large amount of body builder is found in lean meat, eggs, milk, peas, beans, corn meal, and bread. Bread and milk is a good food to make the body grow. If the body takes in more building food than it needs for repairs, it may store it up in the form of fat or burn it to help the body do its work.

The Fuel Foods.—The fuel foods are the sugars, starches, and fats. These are the foods which the body can easily burn to keep it warm and give it power to act. Candy, molasses, or sugar in any form, taken in small quantities, is a good food. Starch, which the body quickly changes to sugar, is a much cheaper food. Meats contain very little starch, but nearly all vegetables contain much starch. Three fourths of corn meal, rice, wheat flour, and soda crackers consists of starch. More than one half of white bread, dried beans, and peas is made of pure starch, and there is much starch in potatoes.

Fat is more abundant in animal than in vegetable food. Castor oil and cotton-seed oil are fats from vegetables. The fat of the cow is called suet or tallow, while the fat of the hog is known as lard. Butter is the fat collected from milk. Cream and eggs contain much fat. When persons eat too much of the sugars, starches, or fats, the body may store them up as fat. For this reason thin persons wishing to gain in flesh eat eggs, nuts, and rich milk.

The Mineral Foods.—The body must have not only lime to help form the bones, but iron, salt, soda, and potash for other parts of the body. All these minerals except salt are found in many of the common foods.

Water is one of the most important of the mineral foods because it helps the body use all the other foods. Most people drink too little water to enjoy the best health. The body needs more than two quarts of water every day. There is much water in our foods. More than one half of eggs, meat, and potatoes is made of water, and more than three fourths of tomatoes, green corn, onions, cabbage, and string beans is composed of water. We should drink one quart or more of water daily. It should not be used ice cold, and very little should be taken at meal time.

Water and Health.—One of the common causes of sickness is bad water. Water from shallow wells within a hundred feet of barnyards, pigpens, or other outhouses is usually unsafe to drink. At Newport, Rhode Island, more than eighty persons were made sick with the fever by drinking the water from a well only ten feet deep. The impure water from one spring at Trenton, New Jersey, gave the fever to nearly a hundred persons in one season. At Mount Savage, Maryland, a hundred and twenty persons were made ill by using the water from a spring near a house drain.

Water from rivers and streams running near where many people live is likely to be made impure and is sure to bring sickness and death to some of those who use it. Water from a small stream at Plymouth, Pennsylvania, running past a house occupied by a typhoid patient, gave the fever to over a thousand persons in one month. The water from a small stream at Ithaca, New York, gave the fever to over thirteen hundred people in one season, and an almost equal number caught the fever in a few weeks at Butler, Pennsylvania, by drinking water from a small creek along which some sick persons lived.

Preventing Sickness from Bad Water.—It is better to go thirsty than to drink water which is likely to cause sickness. Any water can be made safe by boiling it one minute. Boiled water is the most healthful kind of water to use. The people of China and Japan seldom use water that has not been boiled.

Many cities using water from rivers run it through a layer of sand and gravel to remove the tiny things that cause so much sickness and death. This makes the water very much purer, but it is not so certain to make the water safe as is boiling it. Bad water makes nearly a quarter of a million of our people sick every year and kills twenty thousand of them.

How much Food does the Body Need?—Most people eat too much. Overeating overworks the stomach, poisons the body, makes one feel lazy, and causes headache. If you chew your food fine and stop eating as soon as hunger is satisfied without tempting the appetite with sweets, you are not likely to overeat.

About one seventh of a pound of building food is needed daily to keep the body in repair, and a quarter of a pound of fat and a pound of starches and sugars are required to help the body do a hard day's work. A half pound of bread, beans, and meat each, a pound of potatoes, a pint of milk, and a quarter of a pound of butter and sugar each, will give a working man all the food he needs for a day.

Beer and Wine as Foods.—It was once thought that beer and wine were good foods, but hundreds of late experiments show that these drinks are very poor and expensive foods. A half glass of milk is of more use to the body as a food than a full quart of beer. The use of much wine or beer may seem to satisfy the appetite because they deaden the real feeling of hunger. Neither of these drinks can be used by the young without danger of doing much harm.


1. Why does the body need food?

2. Why do you weigh less after working?

3. What is oxygen?

4. From what do we get body-building foods?

5. In what is starch found?

6. How much water does the body need?

7. Where have people been made sick by using bad water?

8. How can we prevent sickness from bad water?

9. What harm does overeating do?

10. What can you say of beer as a food?



Meats.—Beef is the best of all meat for food. Nearly one fifth of it can be used to repair the worn-out parts of the body. Mutton, the meat of sheep, is almost as good for food as beef. Veal and pork also contain much body-building matter, but the stomach must work hard to prepare them for use.

Fish is an excellent food, but it has only little more than one half as much flesh-building matter as good beef. Poultry is a healthful food, especially for the weak and sick, but it is more expensive than the other meats. Oysters are largely made of water and do not contain much to strengthen the body.

In all meat there is some waste matter. This may harm the body if we eat too much meat. It is no longer thought healthful for most persons to eat meat more than once a day. Too much meat used daily for several years is likely to cause disease.

The Cooking of Meat.—The best meat if poorly cooked is unfit for eating. Broiled and roasted meats are more healthful than boiled or fried meat. Meat is broiled by holding it in a wire frame over a flame or hot coals. It is roasted by placing it in a covered pan in a hot oven for two or three hours. It is boiled by keeping it in hot water several hours.

Meat is fried by cooking it in lard or other fat in a pan. Only those who have strong bodies should eat fried meat.

The cheap cuts of meat from the neck, breast, and legs have about as much food matter in them as the more costly parts. Such meat may be made more tender by boiling than by roasting.

Soup.—Soup, broth, and beef tea furnish but little food for the body. They are very useful in giving us a good appetite for the real food to be eaten later. They make the stomach go to work more quickly than other food. Soup or broth is made from meat by placing it on the stove in cold water, gradually heating it, and then keeping it hot several hours.

Vegetables.—Some persons never eat meat of any kind because they enjoy better health when using only vegetables, milk, and eggs. Peas and beans contain much matter for making new flesh and blood and also much starch to give heat and power to the body. Potatoes form a valuable food. Roasted potatoes are more healthful than those boiled or fried.

Radishes, onions, and cucumbers are made largely of water. Only a small amount of these should be eaten at one meal as the stomach must work hard to make use of them. Young beets, lettuce, and ripe tomatoes may be eaten by young and old. They contain useful minerals and help keep the body in a healthful condition.

The Cereals or Grain Foods.—These foods are eaten in the form of bread, oatmeal, corn meal, rice, and breakfast foods. All of these furnish much matter to strengthen the body and make it grow. Bread and butter with rice are excellent foods for children.

Fruits.—Very few people can remain well long without eating fruit of some kind. Ripe apples, pears, plums, peaches, berries, and cherries furnish useful salts to the body and also help the stomach and food tube do their work in a more healthful way. Fruits also increase the appetite. Green fruit and fruit which is overripe should never be eaten.

Eggs.—Eggs form a good food for nearly everybody, but they are specially needed by the young and other persons with weak bodies. They can repair the worn-out parts of the body and also help it do its work.

Eggs are most healthful when eaten raw or soft cooked. The best way to cook them through evenly is to put them in a pan off the stove and add about a quart of boiling water for every three eggs. Cover and let them cook fifteen minutes.

Eggs should be kept in a cold room or cellar until used. They become stale in less than a week when left in a warm living room and may get a bad taste when only three or four days old.

Salt, Pepper, and Vinegar.—Eating much salt is harmful. A small quantity of salt and pepper increases the appetite and makes the stomach do its work better. Children should use very little pepper and almost no vinegar and mustard.

Tobacco.—Some people think tobacco is a food because it is made from the leaves of a plant. Other people think tobacco is a food because they do not feel hungry after smoking or chewing it. The truth is that tobacco is of no use to the body as a food and may do it much harm because of the poison it contains. Tobacco satisfies hunger somewhat by deadening the parts of the body that are calling for food.

Beer.—The people who make beer and sell it say that it is a food. Men who have no interest in selling beer, and have experimented with it to find out whether it strengthens the body, say that beer should never be used as a food. It often tends to weaken the body. Children should never use beer at any time, and older people can sometimes avoid disease by letting it alone.


1. Which are the best meats for food?

2. Why should we not eat meat at every meal?

3. How should meat be cooked to make it most tender?

4. How is soup or broth made?

5. Name the best vegetables for food.

6. Name some good grain foods.

7. Of what use are fruits?

8. What can you say of the use of eggs?

9. How should eggs be cared for?

10. What can you say of the use of salt and pepper?

11. Why does tobacco satisfy hunger?

12. Of what value is beer for food?



Germs, Microbes, or Bacteria.—The dust and dirt of all sorts contain thousands of tiny plants too small to be seen by the eye without help. An instrument called a microscope makes them appear so large that their form and growth are easily studied. These little plants are called germs or microbes. They are also named bacteria. They are so small that a million laid side by side would not cover the head of a pin.

There are hundreds of different kinds of germs. Some are round like little balls and others are the shape of tiny rods. Many of them which look just alike act very different in growing. There are more than twenty different kinds that grow in our bodies and cause diphtheria, tuberculosis, and other diseases. We have measles and scarlet fever because we have gotten these disease germs from some one else in whom they were growing.

Most germs feed on dead matter instead of our living bodies and make it melt away or change into another form. An apple or a piece of meat thrown out on the ground will soon change and become like the earth on which it lies. The change, called decay, is caused by millions of germs. The farmer's best friends are certain germs which help make the ground rich, so that the crops will grow.

Mold.—The dust raised in sweeping contains tiny living seedlike bodies. If these fall on bread, cheese, or fruit, and this food is afterward kept moist in a warm room for a day or two, they will grow into grayish fluffy spots. These spots are mold. The greenish white growth on the top of some canned fruit and on berries left in the warm kitchen over night is also mold.

Mold is a plant which grows from tiny round bodies acting like seeds (Fig. 17). These seed bodies of mold are common in all dust and often fly through the air. On this account food should be kept covered when possible and especially when one is sweeping. Some mold gives bread, cheese, and other food a bad taste, but it will not make one sick.

How Germs Grow.—Germs will not grow where it is very cold, but freezing the germs does not kill them. Boiling one minute kills most germs. Drying will stop the germs from growing, but will not kill all of them. Sunlight kills many of them.

Moisture and warmth make germs grow rapidly. A germ in growing lengthens out a little and then divides in the middle. It does this so quickly that one germ may become two in fifteen minutes. Each of these will then divide. In this way one germ can make many million germs in a single day (Fig. 18).

The Spoiling of Meat.—Fresh meat will not remain good even one day if left in a warm place. A large greenish blue fly seen buzzing about in warm weather will sometimes lay its eggs on meat. These will hatch the next day into little worms, called maggots. They grow rapidly and a few days later change into flies.

Germs will also spoil meat not kept cold. They feed on the meat and give off a poison, making it unfit to eat. The bad odor tells when the germs are at work. Every home should have a cold cellar or an ice box to keep food from spoiling.

Saving Food from Souring.—The souring of milk and of cooked food of any kind is due to the germs always present in the air and clinging by the thousands to unwashed dishes and hands. If meat or fruit is cooked and kept tightly covered, it will remain good for years. Many persons save fruit and vegetables for use in winter by putting them in jars, which are heated to kill the germs, and sealed tight to keep out other germs.

Yeast or the Alcohol Plant.—Sweet cider and other fruit juices are sometimes spoiled by a plant named yeast. This plant has the form of a football and is so small that a million of its kind together would not make a mass as large as the head of a pin. It floats about in the air and is present on the skins of fruits.

Yeast is also called the alcohol plant because whenever it grows in a sweet substance like fruit juice it changes part of it into a biting substance called alcohol. At the same time it gives off a gas. It is this gas which forms the bubbling or frothing in beer.

The millions of yeast plants in the yeast cake bought at the store, when put into the dough for bread, grow and form gas. This pushes the bits of dough apart and makes it light. The little alcohol formed is all driven off in the baking.

The alcohol which yeast forms by growing in sweet cider is in a few weeks changed to vinegar by other germs called the vinegar plants. Sour cider may make those who use it sick and drunk because it contains alcohol. Yeast makes wine out of grape juice.


1. Where are germs found?

2. What is the form of microbes?

3. Name some diseases caused by germs.

4. What is mold?

5. Why should food be kept covered when not in use?

6. What causes meat to spoil?

7. How may fruit be kept from spoiling?

8. Where is yeast found?

9. What effect has yeast on fruit juice?

10. Why should you not drink sour cider?



Of what Milk is Made.—Milk is the most perfect food known. It contains everything needed to build and strengthen the body. In one gallon of milk there is about one teacupful of pure fat, nearly the same amount of sugar, one teacupful of body-building food needed to make muscle and blood. There is also some lime and other mineral matter to make the bones of the young grow strong. The remaining seven pints are water.

Kinds of Milk.—When milk is left standing in a jar for several hours, much of the fat, which is present in the form of tiny balls, rises to the upper part. This upper layer of milk full of fat is called cream. If this is removed, the rest is called skim milk.

Milk after standing in a warm place one or two days becomes sour. It is then sometimes put into a tight box or barrel and beat in such a way as to break up the little balls of fat. These are then pressed together into a mass called butter. It requires a whole gallon of milk to make one teacupful of butter. The milk remaining after the butter is taken out is called buttermilk. Cheese is made from milk.

Milk as a Food.—Milk is a healthful drink for nearly every one and especially useful for those with weak bodies. During sickness it is sometimes the only food the patient can take. It is well for children to use two or three glasses of milk daily with their meals. It should be sipped slowly so it will mix with the fluid in the mouth and not form lumps called curds in the stomach.

A quart of milk contains more food for the body than a half pound of good beefsteak. A pint of milk will supply the body with about as much food as a pint of oysters. A bowl of milk and a half loaf of bread is a healthful supper for a boy or girl. Skim milk and buttermilk are healthful drinks which furnish much food for building bone, blood, and muscle.

When Milk is a Poison.—In New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago it has been noticed for many years that large numbers of babies become sick in warm weather and many of them die. The doctors learned that most of the babies taken sick were being fed on cows' milk because their own mothers did not have enough for them. It was then found that the sick babies had been using milk from dairies where the stables were dirty, the cows soiled, and the hands of the milkers unclean. On this account much dirt got into the milk.

Babies fed on clean milk from clean cows kept in clean stables remained strong and well. By much study the doctors learned that dirty milk is poisonous milk. The poison is made by the germs or bacteria living by the millions in unclean stables and in milk buckets not well washed in boiling water. Dirty milk becomes most poisonous in hot weather because warmth makes the germs grow very fast and become so numerous that millions are present in a teaspoonful of milk.

Keeping Milk Clean.—During one week of hot weather in Cincinnati, over a hundred babies were poisoned with dirty milk. In the same week twice this number were made sick by unclean milk in Philadelphia. During the hot part of the year in our country bad milk kills more than a half dozen babies every hour of the day and night.

The only way to have milk clean is to have clean stables with clean cows, milked by clean hands, and the milk handled in clean pails, cans, and bottles which have been scalded after being washed. The milk must then be kept cold until used, so that the germs will not grow in it.

Saving the Baby from Bad Milk.—If possible, milk should be bought for the baby in bottles sealed with a pasteboard lid. If milk turns sour the same day it is delivered, it is not fit for the baby to take. Heating it makes most milk safer for use. The heating of milk to kill most of the germs is pasteurizing it. It should be kept very hot for about fifteen minutes, but should not be allowed to boil. It should be cooled by placing the vessel on ice or in cold water.

The baby's bottle and nipple should be washed in cold water and then well scalded immediately after being used. The bottle, the nipple, and the milk should be kept away from flies and dust. One fly has been known to carry on its body more germs than there are leaves on a large tree.

Flies and Fever in a Prison.—In August, 1908, thirteen prisoners in the jail at Easton, Pennsylvania, were taken ill with typhoid fever. They had not been near any sick persons and their food and water were found to be pure. All those sick were in cells in one end of the prison. About twenty feet from this end a sewer had been uncovered two weeks before and left open. This sewer carried the waste from the hospital where several patients were sick with the fever. Flies fed on the waste in the sewer and then with the germs sticking to their feet flew into the cells of the prisoners and walked over their cups, spoons, and food. A little girl who played near this open sewer and shared her lunch with the flies had a severe attack of fever two weeks later because the germs scraped from the flies' feet on her food got into her body and grew.

Milk and Disease.—We must be very careful to get not only clean milk but milk from healthy cows milked by persons who have no typhoid fever, scarlet fever, or diphtheria in their homes. If only one or two disease germs get into the milk from the hands of those who have nursed the sick, these will grow into immense numbers in a single day. Many of those who use the milk will then become ill. Hundreds are made sick in this way every year.


1. Why is milk a good food?

2. What does a gallon of milk contain?

3. What is cream?

4. How is butter made?

5. For whom is milk specially good?

6. How does milk become poisonous?

7. Why is dirty milk more poisonous in hot weather?

8. Tell what harm unclean milk does.

9. How may milk be kept clean?

10. Explain how milk is heated to make it safe for use.

11. Show how flies may cause fever.

12. Tell how milk may carry diphtheria into our homes.



Organs for making ready the Food.—Before the food can get into the blood and be carried over the body to feed the muscles and the brain, it must be made into a fluid. This changing of the solid food into a liquid by the stomach and other organs is called digestion. The organs which do this work are known as digestive organs. They consist of a food tube and several bodies called glands.

The Food Tube.—The food canal is about thirty feet long. Its first part, the mouth, opens back of the tongue into the throat, named the pharynx. This leads into a tube, the gullet, passing down through the back part of the chest into the stomach below the diaphragm. The stomach is a bent sac opening into a tube over twenty-five feet long called the bowels or intestines. This tube is folded into a bunch which fills a large part of the cavity of the abdomen.

The Glands or Juice Makers.—A gland is a little tube closed at one end, or a bunch of such tubes, which can take something out of the blood and make it into a juice. A gland under each ear and four others near the tongue make the juice called saliva which flows into the mouth through tubes.

A long, flat, pink gland back of the stomach is called the sweetbread or pancreas. This and a large brown gland, the liver, empty their juices into the intestines. The whole inner surface of the stomach and intestines is lined with tiny tubes, the glands. The juice of these with that of the other glands softens the food and makes it into a liquid.

The Work of the Mouth.—The mouth has three things to do: It should break the lumps of food into fine bits so it can be well wet with the slippery fluid called saliva and also easily swallowed. It must roll the food about so that it gets soaked with saliva. It must hold the food long enough to get much taste from it because this starts the juices to flowing into the stomach. Food gives out its taste only after it is changed to a liquid. It should not be washed down with water, as this weakens the juices in the stomach.

No food should be swallowed until it is broken into bits nearly as small as the head of a pin. Some foods, such as cheese, bananas, and nuts, should be made even finer than this. There is nothing in the stomach to crush to pieces large lumps of food. The juices of the stomach can do their full work only when the food is well chewed in the mouth.

The Chewing of Food keeps away Sickness.—Bread, meat, and potatoes should be cut into pieces no larger than half the size of your thumb and each piece put separately into your mouth with a fork. It should then be chewed from twenty to thirty times before another piece is put into the mouth. Food treated in this way will not cause headache or a sickness in the stomach called indigestion or dyspepsia. It is said that there are so many persons with this kind of sickness that more than $5,000,000 are spent every year for medicine to help them.

Too little chewing of the food while you are young may not cause many aches or pains, but if you form the habit of rapid eating it is hard to learn to eat slowly. No one who chews his food poorly can avoid sickness long or grow well and strong.

The Work of the Stomach.—When the food is swallowed, it passes through the gullet into the stomach. This is a sac holding more than a quart (Fig. 27). It is made of an outer wall of muscle and an inner skinlike coat full of tiny tubes called gastric glands. Millions of these give out drop by drop a watery fluid named gastric juice. This juice begins to flow as soon as we smell or taste food and continues to drop out as long as there is any food in the stomach.

The use of the gastric juice is to help change part of the food into a more watery fluid. To do this it must be well mixed with the food. This mixing is done by the muscles in the outer wall of the stomach (Fig. 29). They squeeze together and then loosen up in such a way as to move the food about and turn it over until every particle is wet again and again with the gastric juice.

How long Food stays in the Stomach.—A ring of muscle around the end of the stomach keeps the food from escaping until it has become a thin grayish liquid. The stomach can finish its work on some kinds of food in one or two hours. With other foods it must work four or five hours.

The stomach can finish its work on soft boiled eggs, milk, roasted potatoes, and broiled lamb within two hours. With pork, veal, cabbage, and fried potatoes it must work four or five hours. When a person is sick the stomach is weak, and he should have only the food which causes the stomach the least work.

The Work of the Intestines.—The last part of the work in getting the food ready for the blood is done in the long folded tube known as the intestine (Fig. 27). Here juices coming from the pancreas and liver mix with the food and change into a liquid those parts not acted on in the stomach.

The intestine does quite as much work as the stomach. Sometimes when the stomach is sick, too much work is put off on the intestines and then they become sick and give much pain.

The pint of watery fluid from the pancreas and the quart of greenish yellow fluid called bile given out by the liver are carried through two tubes into the intestine (Fig. 27). To mix these juices with the food the intestine is being swung gently back and forth and the walls squeezed together by muscles forming its outer coat. As soon as the intestine has finished its work the food begins to enter the blood.

How Food gets into the Blood.—An hour or two after food has entered the intestine it is almost as thin a fluid as milk. Millions of tiny fingerlike growths stick out from the inner side of the intestines and drink in the watery food. These little fingers for drinking up the food are scarcely one fourth as large as the point of a pencil. They are called villi.

The villi are filled with blood tubes having thin walls. The food passes through these walls into the blood stream. Much of it then goes to the liver, but the fatty parts flow up a tube along the backbone and empty into a blood tube in the neck. From the neck and the liver the food goes with the blood to the heart which sends it to all parts of the body.

What the Liver does.—The liver is a dark red body nearly as large as the upper half of your head. It lies just below the diaphragm. It works night and day helping to keep the inner parts of the body clean and at the same time deal out food.

The liver takes some waste out of the blood and sends it out into the intestine with the bile. When there is no food in the intestine, the bile is stored up in the gall bladder under the liver. The liver changes certain waste matter in the blood into such form that other organs can cast it out of the body. It also stores up certain parts of the food coming from the intestines and gives it out to the body little by little as it is needed.

When and How much to Eat.—When the food organs do not do their work rightly, the whole body becomes sick. Eating too much overworks the stomach. It becomes so full that the food cannot be moved about and well mixed with the juices. Germs then work on the food and make it sour. In fact the germs may change part of the food into a poison. This poison will cause headache and a bad feeling.

Do not form a habit of taking powders to cure headache. They are likely to hurt the heart. Take less food, eat it more slowly, and do not wash it down with drink. Stop eating before your stomach feels full.

Each meal gives the stomach about four hours of work to do. It then needs one hour of rest. This shows that the time from one meal to the next should be about five hours. Very young children and sick persons need food oftener. Boys and girls should not eat candies, cake, or other food between meals. It spoils the appetite and is likely to get the stomach out of working order.

Danger Signals.—A white or yellowish coat on the tongue, a bad breath, pain in the bowels, or a headache is a danger signal. It tells that the food organs are not doing their work as they should and unless help is given sickness is likely to occur. Medicine may help, but using foods easy to digest, eating less, chewing more, and getting plenty of exercise in the fresh air are likely to be the greatest aids to health.

The Chewing of Tobacco and Digestion.—Some men chew tobacco as much as ten hours every day. The taste of the tobacco makes the saliva flow from the glands into the mouth. This dissolves the poison out of the tobacco and it is then spit out. If the tobacco-soaked saliva were all swallowed, the man would be poisoned.

The chewing of tobacco causes the loss of much saliva which is needed to help digest the food. Anyone who tires his jaw by chewing tobacco is not likely to chew his food well. Some of the poison in the tobacco is taken into the body through the blood vessels in the lining of the mouth. This is shown by the fact that a boy not used to tobacco becomes very sick after he has chewed a mouthful for only ten minutes.

Smoking and Digestion.—Some persons think that the smoking of a cigar after a meal helps digestion. It may do so in some cases. If a lawyer is much excited about a case he is trying, or a business man is in trouble about his losses, the thinking causes the blood to flow to the head when it is needed in the stomach to give out digestive juices.

The taste of the tobacco smoke may cause some gastric juice to run out into the stomach, but at the same time it is likely to hurt the nerves of taste so that food cannot give so much enjoyment as when the nerves are unharmed. Although smoking may at the time help digestion a little, the poison in the tobacco may afterward injure the body. This poison is especially harmful to growing bodies, and boys who are wise will refuse to smoke on all occasions.

Beer and Digestion.—Some people drink beer with their meals because they think it makes the food taste better. It really prevents them from getting the full taste of the food because they wash it down before it is well soaked with the saliva.

The flavor of beer may sometimes cause an extra flow of gastric juice into the stomach, but the alcohol in the beer is likely to make the movements of the stomach slower. This prevents the food from being well and quickly mixed with the juices. Several glasses of beer used at one meal will make the stomach do its work very slowly, and it will not do it well.

Wine and Digestion.—Wine is taken by some people to give more appetite for food. It is likely, however, to do more harm than good because the alcohol in it makes the muscles which mix the food in the stomach act more slowly. Some of the food may sour before it gets wet with the juice. Much wine used at a meal is always harmful.

Natural Appetite.—If one is in health, he should feel a desire for his food at every meal. This desire for a reasonable amount of food is a natural appetite. Fresh air and exercise will do much to give one the right kind of an appetite. The eating of much sweets and the breathing of bad air are likely to spoil the appetite.

The use of some things, such as opium, tobacco, beer, wine, and whisky, creates an unnatural appetite. That is, after one has used these articles a few months he cannot stop their use without great suffering. The younger the person, the sooner the appetite becomes fixed. For this reason young persons should never use tobacco or alcoholic drinks of any kind.


1. What is digestion?

2. Name the parts of the food tube.

3. Where does saliva come from?

4. Explain how the food is acted on in the mouth.

5. Why should food be well chewed?

6. What forms the gastric juice?

7. Of what use is the gastric juice?

8. How long does food stay in the stomach?

9. Name some foods easily digested.

10. What does the intestine do?

11. What are villi?

12. Tell how the food gets into the blood.

13. Of what use is the liver?

14. Why should we not eat too much?

15. Should we eat between meals?

16. Give three reasons why you should not use tobacco.



Sickness often begins in the Mouth.—A clean mouth and sound teeth have much to do in keeping one well. The germs which cause nearly a half million deaths in the United States every year enter the body through the mouth. If the mouth is unclean, only one or two disease germs entering it may remain there and grow.

It is just as important to wash the mouth two or three times each day as it is to wash the hands and face. A few germs of diphtheria, sore throat, or tuberculosis are likely to get into the mouth any day, but if the mouth and teeth are well washed with a brush morning and night, the germs will not have time to grow and cause sickness.

The Teeth.—The first twenty teeth that appear are called the milk set. The eight front teeth grow out during the first year of life and back of these twelve others appear during the second year. Between the seventh and the tenth year all of the milk teeth are lost because others grow beneath them and push them out.

The first four teeth of the second set appear in the sixth year, just behind the last milk teeth (Fig. 30). These teeth should be watched very closely and at the first sign of decay you should go to the dentist. As the milk teeth get loose and come out, the second set of teeth take their places.

If you are ten or eleven years old, you should have twelve good teeth in the upper jaw and the same number below. The last ones to break through the gums are the four wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth. They appear after the seventeenth year.

The front teeth are called incisors because they are used to cut the food. The back teeth are named molars because they are used in grinding the food.

Toothache.—Toothache is a common ailment, and yet it can be entirely prevented. A tooth does not ache until it has a hole in it. The tender nerve within gives us warning that it is being hurt. The dentist can stop the ache and mend the tooth so that it will not ache again. Look at your teeth every month and feel about them with a wooden tooth-pick to know when the decay begins. If the little holes are mended as soon as found, you will never have toothache, and you can keep your teeth as long as you live.

How to keep the Teeth Sound.—Every tooth is covered with a layer of hard shining substance called enamel (Fig. 33). So long as this is unbroken the softer bony part of the tooth cannot decay. At the base of the tooth where the gum joins it the enamel is very thin, so that the scratch of a pin or other instrument may break it.

Never pick the teeth with a pin or needle. The biting off of thread, finger nails, and other hard material may crack the enamel. It may also be softened and eaten away by acid formed where food remains about a tooth. For this reason a quill or wooden pick or piece of tough thread, called dental floss, should be used to clear the teeth of food after each meal. Slimy matter collects over the whole surface of the teeth, and is likely to cause decay in spots unless it is cleaned off night and morning with brush and water. The chewing of dry crusts of bread or crackers strengthens the teeth and keeps off decay.

Why Candy and other Sweets cause the Teeth to Decay.—A sour substance called acid usually starts the decay of a tooth by eating through the enamel. Germs change sugar and other sweets into an acid. The acid is not made at once. An hour or more is needed for the germs to grow to form the acid. If, after eating sweet foods, the mouth is well cleaned, no acid will be formed. Sugar and candy do not, therefore, spoil the teeth unless it is left sticking about them.

How to brush the Teeth.—Every boy and girl should own a toothbrush. The teeth should be brushed every night and morning and kept white. Yellow or gray slimy teeth are very ugly. The teeth should be brushed on the inside as well as on the outside. It is best to brush the teeth crosswise for two minutes and then spend another two minutes brushing the upper teeth downwards and the lower teeth upwards. This prevents pushing the gum away from the teeth. Plenty of water should be used with the brush, and a little good powder is helpful once a day.

How the Dentist can Help.—Sometimes the milk teeth do not get loose so that they can be pulled with the fingers at the right time. The second teeth then come in at one side and may never get straight in place. They then spoil the appearance of the face and do poor work in chewing. The dentist should be asked to help straighten the teeth as soon as they appear crooked.

It is wise to have the dentist examine the teeth once or twice every year and remove a limy substance called tartar collecting at their base. The dentist can stop the decay in a tooth by cleaning out the little hole and filling it with gold or some other material. It may cause a little pain and expense to have the teeth filled, but it will save a hundred times as much pain and expense later. The six year molars need special care as they are likely to decay early. Even the milk teeth often need filling so that they will not be lost too soon.

Bad Teeth cause Sickness.—When anything decays, it is full of germs, and they are always giving off some poison. The poison may hurt the body and is likely to make parts of the mouth sore and tender so that other germs of disease can break through into the flesh. Disease germs can easily lodge in the holes of decaying teeth, grow in numbers, and finally cause diphtheria, sore throat, or other ailments.

Four out of every five children suffering from diphtheria or other throat or ear troubles are found to have from one to ten bad teeth. You must keep good teeth if you wish to be well and strong.

The Value of Sound Teeth.—Sound teeth which will do good work in chewing food are worth more than a foot or an arm. If the foot or arm is lost, the body is likely to get well and be as healthy as ever. The health of the whole body depends upon the work done by the teeth. Unless they do their part the stomach cannot get the food ready for the blood.

A part of badly chewed food is turned into a poison farther down in the food canal. This is what makes many people feel so tired and miserable much of the time. Hundreds of men have been refused admission to our army because they have poor teeth. Soldiers must be strong and well to take long marches and fight battles. Sound teeth give strength and health.


1. Why should the mouth be washed out every day?

2. When do the milk teeth appear?

3. When are the milk teeth lost?

4. How many teeth have you?

5. How many show signs of decay?

6. How may toothache be prevented?

7. How may the teeth be kept sound?

8. Why do sweets cause the teeth to decay?

9. How should you brush your teeth?

10. Why should the dentist examine your teeth every year?

11. Why are sound teeth of great worth?



Drink needed for Health.—Water in the form of sweat and in other ways is constantly passing off from the body. This water carries with it the waste matter which, if it remained, would poison the body. There is some water in the food we eat, but not enough to supply the wants of the body.

Some persons think that the body needs beer or wine to keep it in good order. These liquids, as well as whisky, brandy, and rum, are called alcoholic drinks. The latest experiments and studies show that the body never needs alcoholic drinks to keep it in the best of health. These drinks sometimes make the body sick, and if much alcohol is taken at one time, the person becomes dizzy, staggers, and may fall down and go to sleep.

The Desire for Drink.—When parts of the body have too little water, there is a longing for drink. This is called thirst. As soon as a cup of water is drunk the desire is satisfied. There is no danger of drinking too much pure water.

Persons who have been accustomed to use alcoholic drink have a thirst which water does not satisfy. It is an unnatural thirst. Even beer or wine will not satisfy such a thirst except for a few minutes. Very often a person's thirst is not satisfied until he has used so much wine or whisky that he becomes dull and unsteady in his walk. He is then said to be drunk.

How the Yeast Plant makes Alcohol.—In the cake of yeast bought at the grocery there are millions of tiny plants, each shaped somewhat like a potato. This strange little plant will grow very rapidly when put into any sweet watery substance. It sends out a bud which grows larger and larger until in a half hour the bud is as large as the old plant. It may then break loose and grow other buds, just like the mother plant.

When yeast grows, it changes the sugar or sweet part of the water into alcohol and a gas called carbon dioxide. It is this gas which makes beer foam and bubble when opened. All alcohol used in beer, porter, ale, wine, brandy, rum, gin, and whisky is made by yeast plants.

How Beer is Made.—There is more beer used than any other alcoholic drink. It is cheap and is much weaker in alcohol than wine or whisky. Only about one twentieth part of beer is alcohol.

In making beer, a sweet watery mixture is first prepared by mashing sprouted barley grains in water. Barley or any other grain forms sugar as soon as it begins to grow. Yeast plants are added to the sweet mixture. By growing they change some of the sugar into alcohol. Hops are also put in to give the beer a fine flavor. After a time the clear liquid is separated from the barley grains and hops and put into tight casks and bottles.

The Making of Wine.—Wine contains from two to four times as much alcohol as beer. Most of the wine is made in California, France, and Germany because grapes grow better in these countries than elsewhere. Wine may be made from the juice of any fruit, but the grape is generally used.

The grapes after being picked are thrown into large tubs and crushed so that the juice runs out. The wild yeast always present on the grape skins begins to grow in the juice and change some of the sugar into alcohol. This work of the yeast lasts from one to eight weeks. At the end of that time, the grape juice has become a kind of poor wine, consisting of alcohol, water, grape flavor, and some acid. To make the wine good it must be drawn off into casks, where the yeast causes further changes during several weeks. It is then put into bottles, where it should remain about five years to get the right flavor.

Sherry is a strong wine used in flavoring food, such as puddings and sauces. A few teaspoonfuls of this wine will make a child drunk. The wines made at home from elderberries, blackberries, and cherries contain alcohol which will do just as much harm as that in the purchased wines.

How Brandy is Made.—Brandy contains more alcohol than wine and almost as much as whisky. In fact brandy is only very strong wine. After the yeast plants have formed as much alcohol as they can in grape juice it becomes so strong that it kills them. This wine is then heated in such a way as to separate some of the water from it. The taking away of the water leaves the wine stronger in alcohol and it then forms brandy.

Whisky and Rum.—These two drinks are strong in alcohol. Nearly one half of each is pure alcohol. Whisky is usually made from rye, corn, or wheat, or all three together. They furnish the food in which the yeast grows and makes alcohol. This watery mixture of grain and alcohol is then heated and the vapor or steam forms whisky after it goes off through a pipe into another vessel. This kind of heating is distillation. Rum is formed in somewhat the same way from molasses or cane juice.


1. Name some alcoholic drinks.

2. What is an unnatural thirst?

3. Explain how the yeast plant forms alcohol.

4. Tell how beer is made.

5. Tell how wine is made.

6. What is brandy?

7. Which drinks contain most alcohol?



The Money spent for Alcoholic Drinks.—If the money spent for alcoholic drinks were all collected together in silver dollars, it would more than fill ten schoolrooms of average size. Not only rich men spend large sums yearly for fine wines and brandies, but also the poor give their money for beer and other drinks which the body does not need.

When parents waste their money on drink, they cannot buy the food and clothes needed to keep their families strong and well. In this way strong drink causes much sickness and suffering and sometimes even death.

Alcohol injures the Body.—Some persons drink very little beer or wine, so they seem to have but little effect on the health. Others use strong drink every day and for a few years they may remain quite well. Later ill health often comes on, and they then find that some of the organs have been so much hurt that they will never be quite well again.

A few years ago a group of fifty well-known men in the United States spent much time and thousands of dollars to learn how much alcohol was harming our country. After much study among many people they announced that there were about one million men and boys whose health had been injured by strong drink, such as beer, wine, and whisky. Because strong drink causes so much sorrow and sickness several states have passed laws forbidding its sale, and saloons have been closed by laws in parts of many other states.

How Alcohol affects Kittens.—The body of a kitten is made very much like the body of a child. It has just the same organs that a child has, and they do the same kind of work. Doctor Hodge, a well-known scientist of Massachusetts, therefore concluded that alcohol would act on kittens in the same way as it would on a man or boy.

The doctor got two healthy kittens and fed them a little alcohol every day for nearly two weeks. In a few days they stopped being playful, did not grow, and did not keep their fur clean and smooth as healthy kittens do. After using alcohol several days they became very ill. This experiment showed that alcohol stops kittens from growing and robs them of good health.

How Alcohol hurts Dogs.—Doctor Hodge fed a little alcohol to two dogs nearly every day for three years. He also kept the brother and sister of these dogs, but gave them no alcohol. All the dogs had the same kind of food and were treated alike except that one pair got alcohol and the other pair did not.

The two drinking dogs got sick more easily and staid sick much longer than the temperance dogs. The drinking dogs became lazy, and timid, while the others were strong, full of fun, and brave.

Within four years the drinking dogs had born to them twenty-seven puppies, but only four of them lived to grow up. The others were too weak or sickly to live. During the same time the temperance dogs had forty-five puppies and forty-one of these lived. This shows that strong drink will not only injure the bodies of those who take it, but will make their children weak and sickly.

The Use of Strong Drink causes Disease.—Many persons who take beer or wine every day become fat. They think this is a sign of health. It is really a sign of disease. They become short of breath. They can no longer run so fast or do so much work because the heart is covered with fat and even some of its wall is changed to fat. For this reason the heart cannot do its work easily or well.

The kidneys which take the waste out of the blood often become injured by alcohol and a disease causing death follows. Sometimes the stomach becomes diseased so that it cannot do its work. This makes the whole body sick.

The hardening of parts of the liver is nearly always caused by the use of beer. The liver is sure to suffer if one uses much alcoholic drink because the alcohol goes direct from the food tube to the liver. Long use of strong drink may bring on disease in the brain and nerves.

Alcoholic Drinks may cause Death.—Every ten years the government appoints persons to visit each home in our land to take the census. A part of this census report consists of a table showing the disease of which people died. It is from the census report that we know that hundreds of people die every year from the use of alcohol.

Danger to Health in beginning the Use of Strong Drink.—A large number of people take a drink of beer or wine occasionally because they do not see that it hurts the body. No one expects to become a steady drinker or a drunkard when he begins to drink. Reports show that every drunkard begins his downward course by taking a few drinks occasionally. Thousands of persons begin a drunkard's life every year because the appetite leads them on gently until they become slaves and cannot let drink alone.



How Tobacco is Made.—Tobacco is made from the leaves of the tobacco plant. The plant may grow as tall as a man and bear more than a dozen leaves. Each leaf is two or three times as large as your hand. The seeds are planted in the springtime, and the plants are ready to be cut in the autumn. Most of our tobacco is raised in the Southern states and Cuba.

After cutting, the tobacco must be dried and cared for in a special way to give it the right flavor. It is then sent to factories and made into cigars, smoking tobacco, or chewing tobacco.

How Tobacco is Used.—Many million dollars are spent every year by the people of our country for tobacco. Most of the tobacco is used in smoking. Some men smoke it in pipes, while others smoke it in the form of cigars or cigarettes.

Many men chew tobacco. When used in this way, something like licorice is generally mixed with the tobacco to give it a more pleasant taste. Sometimes the dry tobacco is ground into a fine powder called snuff. This is used by both men and women.

Tobacco contains a Poison.—When boys chew or smoke tobacco for the first time, it always makes them sick. Chewing or smoking for fifteen minutes will make them grow dizzy and weak and feel so sick that they must lie down for a long time.

The sickness is caused by a poison called nicotine which is present in all tobacco. Much of this poison may be soaked out by boiling the tobacco in water. A cup of water in which a pipeful of tobacco has been boiled will kill goldfish in an hour when poured into a gallon jar of water with the fish. There is enough poison in a handful of tobacco to kill a boy who is not in the habit of using it.

Why Men can use Tobacco without becoming Sick.—Experiments upon animals have shown that the body can learn to use a poison and not become sick from it. The poison of a rattlesnake is deadly to most animals; but if a tiny bit of the poison is put under the skin of the rabbit one day and then on each succeeding day a little larger dose of the poison is given the rabbit for a long time, the animal will become so accustomed to the poison that the bite of a rattlesnake will not harm it. It is the same way with tobacco. Little by little the body learns to overcome the effects of the poison, but much use of tobacco is likely to hurt certain parts of the body.

Tobacco is Harmful to the Young.—A dose of poison which will kill a child may do but little harm to a man. Tobacco is certain to hurt boys more than it does men. The poison makes the body grow slower.

A large number of measurements made by Doctor Seaver showed that the boys who did not use tobacco gained in four years one twentieth more in weight and one fourth more in girth and height than the users of tobacco. These boys were between sixteen and twenty-two years of age. It is likely that tobacco will have a more harmful effect on younger boys.

Laws to keep the Young Healthy.—Boys ought to be wise and brave enough to let alone what keeps their bodies from growing and hurts their health, but some will not do it. For this reason some countries are trying to save the health of their boys by making laws against the use of tobacco.

The Germans a few years ago passed a law in their land forbidding all boys and girls under sixteen years of age to use tobacco in any form. Seeing the good results of this law in Germany and the harm that tobacco was doing the boys in the United States, the Emperor of Japan on the 6th of March, 1900, proclaimed this law: "The smoking of tobacco by minors under the age of twenty is prohibited."

In our own country several states have passed laws against the use of cigarettes by boys. One country after another is learning that if they want strong men, to fight, to work, and to win, tobacco must not be allowed to weaken the bodies of the young.

How the White Man becomes a Slave.—Before the Civil War the black men of the South were slaves. They could not do as they pleased because they belonged to their masters whom they must obey or else they would suffer punishment. No boy can begin the use of tobacco without the danger of becoming a slave to it.

The use of tobacco either by chewing or smoking gradually causes in any one the growth of an appetite which makes him feel miserable and unhappy unless it is kept satisfied. It can be satisfied only by the use of more and more tobacco.

Many men would like to quit the use of tobacco if they could do so without suffering. They are slaves, and tobacco is their master.

Cigarettes and Health.—A cigarette is a tube of paper filled with tobacco. The tobacco is usually not so strong as that used in cigars and pipes. For this reason, boys like it better, and because it is so mild they draw the smoke down into the lungs. This gives the poison a better chance to be taken up by the blood. On this account, and because one is likely to smoke oftener when he smokes a small piece of tobacco, cigarettes are thought by some to be more harmful than the use of tobacco in pipes and cigars.

Tea and Coffee.—Tea is made from the dried leaves of the tea plant. Tea plants are raised in North Carolina, China, and Japan. The drink called tea used at the table is made by pouring boiling water on the tea leaves. The leaves should not be boiled as this draws out a substance which keeps the stomach from doing its work in the right way.

Coffee is the seed of a plant growing in South America and Asia. It is roasted, then ground, and boiled in water to make the drink called coffee.

Children should not use either tea or coffee as they are likely to hurt the stomach and may injure the heart. One or two cups of tea or coffee daily seem to have little or no bad effect on the health of most grown persons. Coffee taken at supper may keep one awake by sending too much blood to the brain.

Opium and Morphine.—Opium is a dangerous drug which is got from the heads of the white poppy plant grown mostly in the far East. From gashes cut in the poppy heads a juice runs out and hardens into a gum from which the pure drug is made.

Some persons smoke opium for the drowsy and pleasant feeling it gives. Its use is very hurtful and ruins both body and mind. Morphine is a pure form of opium. Persons take it to kill pain and make them sleep. You should never take it except when given by the doctor, as a habit is quickly formed which will make you miserable through life.

Patent Medicines.—These are medicines advertised to cure ailments which generally cannot be cured by drugs. They are the medicines much advertised in the newspapers and magazines. Never use them unless your doctor tells you to do so. Many of them contain harmful drugs, such as morphine and alcohol. When you are sick, go to your doctor for advice.


1. Explain how tobacco is raised.

2. How is tobacco used?

3. How does tobacco affect a boy using it for the first time?

4. What is the name of the poison in tobacco?

5. Tell how tobacco keeps boys from growing.

6. What countries do not allow boys to use tobacco?

7. What is meant by being a slave to tobacco?

8. What is tea?

9. What is coffee?

10. Why should you not use opium or morphine?



Parts of the Skin.—The skin is about as thick as the leather of your shoe. It is fastened to the muscles beneath with fine white threads like spider webs. This is called connective tissue because it connects the skin to the lean meat.

The skin is made of two layers (Fig. 45). The upper layer is formed of cells. This is named epidermis or scarfskin. The deeper layer is made largely of fine threads woven together. It is the true skin or derma. There is no blood in the scarfskin, but there is a network of blood tubes in the true skin. It is the crowding of these with blood that makes the skin look so red when we get hot or excited.

The Use of the Skin.—The skin has three chief uses. It protects the softer parts of the body from being hurt by rough or hard things which might touch it. It contains the organs of feeling. It helps keep the right amount of heat in the body.

The top part of the skin is dry and dead. This gives better protection than if it were moist and tender. Particles of it are wearing out and dropping off while other bits are growing beneath to take the place of the worn-out parts. The more this top skin is pressed on and rubbed, the thicker it becomes. For this reason it is twice as thick in the palms of the hand and on the soles of the feet.

Scattered through the true skin are millions of tiny organs fastened to the ends of the nerve threads leading to the spinal cord and brain. These organs tell us when the skin is touched or when it is hot or cold or is being hurt.

The Pores and the Sweat Glands.—On a warm day the skin becomes wet with a salty fluid called sweat or perspiration. This flows from the tiny holes or pores in the skin. A good magnifying glass will show these pores arranged in rows on the ridges in the palm of the hand.

From each pore a tube leads down into the true skin to a coiled tube forming the sweat gland (Fig. 45). Sweat glands are present by the thousands in the skin of all parts of the body. They give out from one pint to a gallon of sweat daily. The more we work and the warmer the weather, the more the sweat flows.

There is a little waste matter carried out of the body by the sweat, but its chief use is to cool the body. It does this by passing off in the air and carrying the heat with it. In this way the body is kept from getting too hot in summer.

The Color of the Skin.—In the African race the color of the skin is black, in the Chinese it is yellowish, while in our race it is nearly white. The different hues are due to a coloring matter called pigment. This lies in the deep part of the scarfskin. Going out in the wind and sun causes more pigment to collect, and we say we are tanned. If the pigment collects in spots, it makes freckles.

There is no way of removing at once freckles or tan. They usually disappear in the winter. No powders nor any other kind of medicine should be taken to make the skin white and smooth. Such medicines may contain poison and are likely in time to hurt the body. The skin may usually be kept soft and smooth by washing well with soft water and good soap. If it becomes harsh or cracked, a little glycerine rubbed on after each washing may help it.

The Nails and their Care.—The nails are hardened parts of the epidermis. They are intended to prevent the ends of the fingers from being hurt and to give a neat appearance to the hand.

The ends of the nails should never be chewed or torn off, as this makes the fingers blunt and the flesh sore. They should be filed or cut neatly with the scissors so that they do not stick out beyond the ends of the fingers.

Many boys and some girls spoil the appearance of their nails by letting a line of black dirt remain beneath them. A piece of a stick or a nail cleaner should be passed beneath the nails every time the hands are washed. If the fingers are much soiled, a stiff brush is useful in removing the dirt under the nails.

The Hair.—Some hair grows on nearly all parts of the body. It is much thicker on the head than elsewhere. Each hair grows from a little knob at the bottom of a tiny tube in the skin called the hair sac (Fig. 47). If hair is pulled out, another one will grow in its place if the knob at the bottom of the sac is not hurt.

One or two oil glands open into each hair sac and give out an oil to keep the scalp and hair soft. No other hair dressing is needed.

After thirty or forty years of age the hair begins to turn gray. No medicine will prevent the hair from turning gray, and it is generally unwise to color the hair with a dye. There is poison in some of the mixtures sold to color the hair.

The Care of the Hair.—When the hair is uncombed, the whole person looks untidy. The hair should be combed carefully every morning and again made tidy before each meal. You should use as little water as possible to moisten the hair. The glands can be made to give out their hair oil by squeezing parts of the scalp between the fingers.

The scalp should be well cleansed with soap and warm water every three or four weeks. The hair should be dried quickly with a soft towel and by sitting in the sun or near a stove. One is likely to catch cold by going out of doors when the hair is wet. Hair oils and dandruff cures should not be used unless advised by a physician. Pinching and wrinkling the scalp twice weekly with the fingers makes the blood tubes grow larger and bring more food to the hair. It will also in many persons stop the hair from falling out and prevent dandruff and itching.

Do not use the hair brush of another person or exchange hats with your companions. Unclean persons and those living or playing much with them often have among their hairs little creatures called head lice. They suck blood and cause constant itching. The doctor will tell any one how to get rid of them easily.

Keeping the Skin Clean.—The amount of dead matter carried out by the sweat on to the skin every day is equal to a mass as large as your thumb. Dust also works through the clothing and sticks fast to the moist skin. For this reason every one should wash the whole body once or twice each week. The feet should be washed oftener as they become more soiled.

Many persons take a bath every day. A cold bath taken just after rising in the morning wakes up the nerves, makes the heart work better, and gives health and strength to the whole body. Afterward, the body should be well rubbed with a coarse towel. The bath may be taken by lying in a tub of water or by rubbing the body over quickly with a wet sponge. A hot bath is best for cleansing the skin. A warm bath makes one sleepy and should, therefore, be taken only at bedtime.

The hands should always be well washed before handling food. Persons neglecting to do this have caused much sickness because of the disease germs on their hands. One hundred and fifty persons were given typhoid fever in one city in Massachusetts by a man who handled milk without washing his hands. Dirt and disease are companions. You must be clean if you would be healthy.

The Kidneys.—The sweat glands do not take out of the blood one quarter as much waste matter as the kidneys. These are two bodies longer than the finger and more than twice as wide, and having the shape of a bean. One lies on either side of the backbone below the liver.

The blood coming to the kidneys is full of waste and dead matter picked up from all parts of the body. This is passed out through the thin walls of the thousands of little blood tubes into the many tiny tubes of the kidneys.

Water is required to keep the body clean within as well as without. For this reason you should drink more than a quart of water daily. A glass or two of water drunk a half hour before meals cleanses and rouses to action the digestive organs.

Alcohol and the Skin.—The skin of those who use much beer or whisky often becomes rough, red, and pimply. Any alcoholic drink is likely to injure the skin because it may hinder good digestion. The drunkard has a red nose and a dark-colored skin. This is because alcohol weakens the walls of the blood tubes and lets them become gorged with blood.

If a person takes a drink only once in a while, his face becomes red after each drink, and an hour or two later the effect of the alcohol passes off. The blood tubes have squeezed up to their natural size.

Alcohol and the Kidneys.—Taking several glasses daily of even such weak alcoholic drink as beer often causes the kidneys to become sick. Some of their working parts become changed to fat and some parts become hard. The cells which let the waste matter pass out of the blood get hurt by the poison of the alcohol so that they let some of the food also pass out of the blood.


1. Name the two parts of the skin.

2. Give the three uses of the skin.

3. What is a sweat gland?

4. How much sweat is formed daily?

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