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the proposal that Dr. Dunbar should be given the permanent post of director of the Hamburg institute, and thus made the authoritative expert in control of the health conditions of the principal German port, and the first commercial city of the Continent.
Dr. Dunbar is a native of St. Paul, Minn.; and when he went to Germany, some years ago, at the age of twentyone, he could speak English only. He has won his place very early in the scientific world. In order to accept the official post he now holds, he was obliged to become naturalized as a German citi
Dr. Dunbar commands the services of a staff of expert assistants, and his Institute is conducting experiments of extraordinary interest. A new method for the discovery of cholera germs in water has been devised by Dr. Dunbar, and accepted by Dr. Koch and the other bacteriologists as a great improvement. During the summer and autumn of 1893, the Hamburg institute tested the Elbe water from day to day, the specimens being taken from widely separated points, and found cholera germs all the way from the mouth to places far in the interior of Germany. It seems probable that Dr. Dunbar will succeed in proving effectually, what has hitherto been much doubted and denied, that cholera is propagated by means of water rather than air.
In the filthy water brought up to Hamburg by the flood tide Dr. Dunbar and his group of experts were quite regularly finding from thirty thousand to one hundred thousand cholera germs to each cubic centimetre (about one sixteenth of a cubic inch) of water. As many germs were found in the season of 1893 as in the previous year, although Hamburg was kept almost free from fresh outbreaks of cholera. The water of the river above the influence of flood tide was found to contain from four hundred to twelve hundred germs. In July, 1893, the imperial health authorities at Berlin
issued a warning to the municipal governments of the country not to supply their citizens with a drinking-water containing more than one hundred germs to the cubic centimetre. It was considered that water infected to no greater extent could be used without serious danger. It is highly instructive, therefore, to note the fact that the purified water of the new Hamburg filtration works, as examined from filter to filter and from day to day, was found sometimes to contain no germs at all, and more commonly to contain from four to ten per cubic centimetre. Only by the most refined methods, never employed until the summer of 1893, could these few scattered germs be discovered, isolated, and accurately counted.
Here, then, is the great triumph of the Hamburg filter works. The citizens know absolutely that the new system has given them a safe supply, and feel that science is now equal to any emergency that may arise. The purified Elbe water is used for all city purposes, including street washing, lawn and garden sprinkling, and sewer flushing. It is of excellent quality for all industrial purposes, and as a drinking-water it is agreeable as well as safe.
An indirect evidence that the cholera epidemic was induced through the use of Elbe water was furnished by the fact that the parts of Hamburg which use wells instead of the river supply were almost or quite exempt from the disease. There are perhaps eight hundred or a thousand wells in use within the city limits. On general health principles wells are to be condemned, and their extermination by most city governments has been fully justified; but, as a choice of evils, the Hamburg wells were better than the unfiltered river water, and so they were tolerated. Some of the large breweries have very productive artesian wells. At the time of the epidemic their water was piped to many neighboring houses, and the service continues. At that time, also,
in the fall of 1892, more than a hundred new "driven wells were made; but many of them could not be used, on account of the mineral constituents of the water. A part of the work of Dr. Dunbar's Institute, in the fall of 1893, was the thorough examination and testing of all the wells of the city. About half of them had been examined up to the middle of September, with generally satisfactory results. The health authorities were, of course, empowered to close all wells found to be yielding unwhole
The Hygienic Institute has a new branch laboratory, with every needed convenience, immediately adjacent to the filtration works; and one of the large filters is used exclusively for the Institute's tests and experiments. One of Dr. Dunbar's chief assistants is stationed constantly at the waterworks. There has now been constructed for Dr. Dunbar's use, upon plans of his own, a novel steam craft, to ply on the Elbe as a floating bacteriological laboratory. The boat is not far from forty feet in length, and its remarkable equipment will make it possible to study far more fully than has yet been done the actual extent and nature of the influence of flood tide in the Elbe, and also to give frequent attention to the health conditions of the great stream in its upper courses. All these new projects and devices will have cost a good deal of money; but shrewd, commercial Hamburg has come to the conclusion that improved sanitary services are a highly profitable investment, and that it would be as unwise to spend large sums upon such services without expert scientific direction and experimentation as to erect public buildings without good architects, or invest heavily in docks and harbor facilities without the aid of civil engineers. Dr. Dunbar is evidently determined to make the largest possible use of the city government's new impulses towards the generous support of hygienic inquiry and reform.
The circumstances under which cholera again appeared in Hamburg about the middle of September, 1893, only serve to illustrate the value both of the filtration works and of the Hygienic Institute. Tests made at that time showed the alarming increase of germs in the filtered water as conveyed for consumption. It was further discovered that the water was pure as it left the filters, and that the contamination was the result of a bad leakage from the Elbe into the tunnel which conveys the supply from the Kalte Hofe to the pumping works on the mainland. The leak was at last suppressed, but, unfortunately, a number of cases of illness and death occurred, clearly traceable in origin to this infusion of unfiltered water into the purified supply. The fact that Hamburg had been exempt from cholera all summer, while the river was laden with such deadly infection, speaks volumes for the filtered water which had been in use since May; and the prompt discovery of the leakage was a new demonstration of the practical usefulness of an efficient bacteriological laboratory.
I have already commented upon Hamburg's sewers and its disposal of sewage. It remains to speak somewhat of the scavenging and cleansing of the city. As yet, the cholera outbreak seems to have led to no radical changes of system or administration, but it has resulted in a vast increase of energy in the conduct of the work. Street cleansing, under the general control of the police authorities, is managed upon a good system with admirable effect. No American city, so far as I am aware, can compare at all favorably with maligned Hamburg in the matter of clean streets. Good paving is the rule, and this of course facilitates the constant washings and sweepings to which the streets are subjected. Asphalt and smoothly laid square stone blocks are the prevailing material of the street surface. Besides the thorough night cleansings, there is a
day force of sweepers regularly at work on the principal thoroughfares to remove horse manure, etc., quite in the approved manner of Paris and Berlin.
The fright to which the cholera subjected the population has been of inestimable aid to the sanitary police in their efforts to compel the people to maintain domestic cleanliness. There remain in Hamburg many of the very narrow, badly lighted streets of the Middle Ages, with small-windowed old houses, ill arranged for subdivision into tenement apartments and for the occupancy of numerous families. Obviously, it is no easy task to keep these streets free from conditions favorable to the spread of infection. But a wonderful improvement has been made, under rigidly enforced sanitary regulations, in the average wholesomeness of domestic life among the working people. An elaborate code governing the construction and occupancy arrangements of tenement houses had been drawn up, and was expected to receive approval and go into effect early in 1894. It brings the sanitary housing of the people under the auspices of the municipal authorities to an extent never before dreamed of in old-fashioned, laissez-faire Hamburg.
The city has also laid energetic hands upon the question of the disposal of domestic refuse. Garbage has hitherto been carted out and dumped upon land in the vicinity of the city, some kinds of refuse, however, being carried out to sea in barges. Henceforth the garbage is to be burned, large municipal crematories having been constructed. There is no reason why Hamburg should not undertake large works, such as one finds in various European cities, for the preparation of a marketable fertilizer, and of other salable commodities, from the collected garbage, street sweepings, ashes, and waste material in general of so great a city. This will probably be done in the early future.
The epidemic of 1892 found Ham
burg ill prepared with facilities for the isolation of cases, and for the disinfection of contaminated articles and houses. Ordinary hospitals had to be used for cholera patients, and extra accommodations had to be provided by means of hastily erected emergency barracks. Meanwhile, a vast new epidemic hospital on the pavilion plan was projected, and it is now completed and in working order. It is one of the largest and best appointed hospitals for infectious diseases to be found anywhere; and it will play an important part in the future suppression at the very outset of threatened epidemics.
The disinfection stations, also, are a new feature of Hamburg's sanitary administration, and they are excellent specimens of establishments of that sort. Two central ones were fitted up in existing buildings adapted for the purpose, while a much larger and more complete one has now been made ready for use. They are equipped with large ovens, for the disinfection by heat of bedding, clothing, draperies, carpets, etc., and have facilities for the detention and personal disinfection and cleansing of the unattacked members of a family whose house is undergoing disinfection after the stricken members have been removed to hospital or to cemetery. The disinfection station is headquarters for the closed vans that are sent to remove persons and infected articles, and also for the disinfection officials, whose task it is to take charge of a house and put it in good sanitary condition. Each one of. these officers is supplied with a compact, portable metallic box, in which there is a curiously complete collection of scrubbing-brushes, chemicals, and implements and devices for the thorough cleansing of a condemned habitation.
Food examination lies within the scope of Dr. Dunbar's municipal laboratory, and a staff of assistants is steadily engaged in this branch of the work, which is to take on some important develop
ments in the early future. The milk supply of Hamburg, in particular, is now to be brought under the close municipal oversight that is so desirable in all large towns, a very elaborate law to that end having been drafted. The active inspection of food in the markets is in charge of the general police authorities. It is now arranged that a special force of police inspectors shall be put at the service of the Hygienic Institute, and shall bring samples for analysis to the food department of the laboratories.
It is as yet quite too soon to attempt a presentation in conclusive statistical form of the results of Hamburg's new sanitary régime. But the evidence afforded by a comparison of the death rate month by month is highly significant, and it would have an importance even sensational in its character if the improvement it indicates should, happily, continue permanently. Thus, the average January death rate of Hamburg for the past decade has been 23.10 per thousand of populaFor January, 1892, the rate was 21.61, while for January, 1893, it was
only 16.59, and for January, 1894, it appears to have been somewhere between 18 and 19. Comparing succeeding months, it would seem that the death rate has declined fully twenty per cent from the average of the past decade since the extraordinary precautions of the cholera summer of 1892 were put into effect. It is quite possible that the completion of the current year may show for the twenty-four months of 1893 and 1894 an average decline in the total death ratio of not less than twenty-five per cent as compared with the statistics for the preceding ten years. It is not to be forgotten that a great epidemic almost always sweeps away so many very old. very young, and otherwise specially susceptible persons that a subsequent lowering of the death rate would result without any aid from better hygienic surroundings. But when due allowance is made for this very important factor, it would still seem reasonable to attribute a considerable part of the reduced death rate of Hamburg to the city's improved sanitary condition.
BREATHE above me or below, Never canst thou farther go Than the spirit's octave-span Harmonizing God and man.
Thus, within the iris-bound,
John B. Tabb.
AT THE OPRA DI LI PUPI.
HERE in Palermo there is a certain curve of one of the streets which has for me a singular charm. There a piazza, opening from the wide, modern Via Cavour, narrows itself all at once with a cordial pressure, as if to say, Welcome to the heart of the city! It is an entrance to the real Palermo; not the city as it is known by the tourist studying historic monuments under guidance of Baedeker, nor by the golden youth and large-eyed beauties who pass along the Via Macqueda or amid the myrtle paths of the Giardino Inglese, but instead as it is characterized by the great rioni where four fifths of the population live in their own way, which was also that of their fathers centuries ago. The lieutenant (it is no small advantage to have as escort a relative who is also that liveliest of beings, a young officer of the Italian army) joins me in affection for the warm-hearted, serious, prejudiced, industrious, generous, superstitious, courtly Sicilian populace. We are always ready to turn aside from the principal streets, which resemble those of all the other Italian cities, in order to lose ourselves in a maze of vicoli and viuzze, and of research concerning the life, physical and psychical, of the inhabitants.
One memorable morning, we went forth to find Don Achille Greco, an heroic name, as is fit for a man whose business is all of paladins and their deeds. To come to facts, Don Achille is proprietor of one of the best marionette theatres of Palermo, the Opra della Vucciria. The father of Don Achille was the famous Don Gaetano Greco, with whom, at least according to the opinion of his sons and heirs in the profession, began the glories of the wire-drawn drama. The lieutenant and I hoped to be able to arrange with the oprante for a private representation; because, at an
ordinary performance, a woman in the audience would be a rarity, the mark for the wondering stares of the young men and boys who fill the benches and galleries. Not that the plays would offer any offense to feminine modesty; on the contrary, they are always unexceptionable in action and language; but so it is, women are almost never present. Perhaps I might have ventured to infringe the etiquette of the place, for nice customs curtsy to persons in search of copy. But a sufficient restraint was the idea of that crowded, unventilated room, where every cry of "Bravo!" would be as strong of garlic as of enthusiasm.
The audience, however, would have been almost as well worth seeing as the play. The lads are thoroughly acquainted with the personages and deeds of the legendary history of Charlemagne and his paladins, which forms the material of a cycle of plays running without repetition through the evenings of more than a year. The dramas, which ignore the unities of time, place, and construction, are founded chiefly upon the popular book I Reali di Francia, the chronicles of Archbishop Turpino, the Orlando of Ariosto and of Boiardo, the Morgante of Pulci, with excursions into the kindred story of Guerino il Meschino or other texts. Sometimes farces and ballets are interspersed, and now and then a sacred representation, notably a Passion Play.
The marionette theatre, called in Sicilian dialect opra di li pupi, is here much more important and characteristic than it is upon the Italian peninsula. On the miniature stage of upper or of central Italy, the performances are more sophisticated, and, a far more significant difference, they represent detached episodes or modern plays; while in Sicily the epic cycle of Charlemagne and his knights moves with stately sequence to