Baltimore Evening Sun (13 September 1913): 6.


Some say tha& the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte will prove that he wasn’t to blame, some say he will prove that the grand jury was controlled by the Hon. Frank Kelly, and some say that he will pass it up altogether.

Does your barber take the Maryland Suffrage News? If not, change your barber!–Adv.

Preliminary list of “horse-breeders” who are paying $15 a week for $4.50 board at moral Havre de Grace!

Mike the Bite, Knockout McGinnis, The Iron Head, Louie the Lush, Two-Fingered Jake, Horseshoe Abe, Jolt Johnson, Eat-’em-Up John, George the Brute, The Embalmer, Demijohn Joe, Jake the Blood.

Everone hopes, of course, that the new filtration plant will materially reduce typhoid fever in Baltimore, and the Hon. D. Harry and his earbumpers insist that it will wipe out the disease entirely, but the actual returns from cities using filtered water do not encourage a too rosy optimism. Here and there, true enough, one happens upon what seems to be strong evidence of the improvement that filtration accomplishes--for example, in Pittsburgh. Eight years ago that city had a typhoid rate of 141 per 100,000 of population per annum, or nearly four times Baltimore’s average rate for the last decade, whereas today it has a rate of less than 10. The same old water is stilldrunk by the people, but it is now filtered by the slow sand process. And in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Philadelphia, the improvement has been similar, though much less in degree.

But when these apparent results from filtration are put beside control returns from cities which still lack filtration plants they begin to lose a great deal of their impressiveness. Opposite Pittsburgh proper, for example, is the city of Allegheny, now part of the greater city. Allegheny will eventually use the filtered Pittsburgh water, but at present its people are still swallowing the crude product of the Allegheny river. And yet the typhoid rate among them has declined almost as rapidly as the typhoid rate among the Pittsburghers. It was 136 in 1906; last year it was but 9. Can it be that the decline in Pittsburgh has been due to causes other than filtration; that it would have occurred without filtration?

Again, consider Washington. A slow sand filter of the most modern type has been in operation there for several years, and the city water is now very pure, and yet the typhoid rate in 1912 was one point higher than Baltimore’s. Yet again, consider Atlanta. It has a rapid sand filter–but its typhoid rate has never gone below 35. Finally, consider Grand Rapids, New Haven and Toledo. All three of them have excellent filtration systems, and yet their typhoid rates run from 24 to 31. In New Haven, indeed, the average rate for eight years past has been 8 points higher than Baltimore’s.

A still more curious fact is brought out by George A. Johnson in an article in the current Engineering News. It is this: that the average typhoid rate in the 33 American cities which attempt the artificial purification of their water is nearly 30 per cent. higher than that in the 18 cities which drink it as it comes. In brief, the figures given by Mr. Johnson seem to show that filtration actually makes the water worse instead of better. But this, of course, is only an appearance. A more careful inspection of his tables shows that the rate of decline in the cities with filters is vastly greater than that in the cities without filters. In other words. the cities with filters are still behind, but they are fast catching up, and in a few years more they should be ahead.

But why are they behind today? No doubt because filters have been put in only by those cities with unusually bad water. Where the natural supply has been nearly pure, as in St. Paul and Syracuse, for example, there has been no need to construct expensive filtration plants. And they are expensive. According to Mr. Johnson’s figures, it costs nearly $3,500 to save one human life by filtering water, even supposing that all the decline in the typhoid death rate is produced by that filtration--and the average value of a life is not more than $5,000.

In today’s Letter Column you will find the fourth canto of the Hon. William H. Anderson’s explanation of the result in Montgomery. Indorsed by the Hon. Mr. Anderson two years ago, the Hon. “Cy” Cummings scraped through by but 13 votes. Opposed by the Hon. Mr. Anderson this year--and with the utmost energy and fury!–he rolled up a neat little majority of 377. But this result, it appears, was a noble triumph for the “moral element”! O rare Bill Anderson!

A number of clerical friends send me copies of a circular recently distributed to clergymen by the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society, that affecting camorra of belligerent old maids, male and female. As usual, the attack upon scientific medicine is made from the standpoint of an infantile and nonsensical theology. I quote a few strophes:

To assume that God, the incarnation of mercy and loving kindness, concealed the cure for human ills in the bodies of His defenseless creatures is nothing short of blasphemy. It is inconceivable of Omnipotent Divine Love as sanctioning so horrible a practice [sic], and of Infinite Intelligence as being compelled to resort to it.

But what of the cure for human hunger? What of the beefsteak, the mutton chop, the Smithfied ham? Alas, the fair theologians of the society do not push their doctrine of Divine Limitation to its logical end. But whoever heard them pushing any doctrine to a logical end? Even so, however, this new and bobtailed addition to the creed of Christendom is better than the doctrine they formerly preached--the doctrine, to wit, that dogs and cats have “elementary human souls.”

Envious of the success of my hay fever cure, the Hon. Wilbur F. Coyle is putting out a sovereign specific for baltitude, and has wheedled testimonials out of the Hon. Max Ways, Col. J. von Hook and Gen. Bill Larkins.

Incidentally, the Hon. Goose Grease Altfeld is another sour, sour lemon for the Hon. William H. Anderson. Cocoa butter with ground glass in it! An heroic dose of Oleum morrhuae!

Col. Jacobus von Hook having journeyed all the way to Germany to see the Kaiser, His Imperial Majesty will now return the courtesy by sending the Crown Prince over to feast his eyes on the Hon. Dashing Harry. Thus great men venerate and tickle one another!

Boil your drinking water! Wait for the Hon. William H. Anderson’s next explanation! Watch Bob come back!