February 19, 1909
The exhibit of the National Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis opened in the Scarritt building, Ninth street and Grand avenue, yesterday and will continue for two weeks under the auspices of the Jackson county society. W. L. Cosper, who has charge of the exhibit, said last night that in the matter of first day's attendance, Kansas City had broken all records, over 2,000 people visiting it yesterday afternoon and evening.
While the rooms were opened to the public during the afternoon, the exhibit was opened formally last night by Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., who made a short address.
The mayor said that before many weeks model play grounds for children would be completed here. That, he said, is a step toward health and happiness. He told the audience that the city had voted $20,000 of bonds for the erection of a tuberculosis sanitarium on the hills east of the city, and the building of bungalows there for the convalescent. He also told of the work of the tenement board, and said said that its members, all busy citizens, should be thanked for giving their time and labor to the city for nothing. The mayor also stated that his hospital and health board was now strictly enforcing the spitting ordinance, which had long been neglected.
"If a policeman yanks you down to the station for spitting on a street car," he said, "don't lose your temper. He is only doing his duty, and you must agree that it is right."
Frank P. Walsh, president of the Jackson county society, presided. In the absence of Dr. W. S. Wheeler, health commissioner, he introduced E. W. Schauffler, who told what tuberculosis is, and how it may be cured if taken in time.
"It is contracted," he said, "generally in inhaling the germ which is blown into your face with the dust of the street, in the workshop or at the room. It is often introduced through food and sometimes by contact. It always produces death of tissue or bone. Three things are essential for its cure -- pure air, sunshine and good food."
The doctor said that "the American people are the greatest spitters in the globe, possibly made so from the tobacco chewing habit."
On account of the breaking of a lense Mr. Cosper was unable last night to give the steropticon lecture. Tonight, however, and every night for the next two weeks, views will be shown and prominent physicians will speak.
The meeting today will be in charge of the tenement commission. Walter C. Root, chairman, will speak on housing conditions in Kansas City, and the inception and spread of tuberculosis. Dr. Oh. H. Duck will speak in the evening. It is expected that Dr. McGee of Topeka, Kas., may be here with his stereopticon lecture on tuberculosis.
That the exhibit alone, without the lectures, has begun to bear fruit, was shown by a little incident yesterday afternoon. Two men emerged from the room talking. One of them cleared his throat and was just in the act of expectorating on the sidewalk when he stopped.
"I guess I'll spit in the gutter after this," he said to his friend, "I've just learned something."
The University of Kansas, Rosedale, has several interesting specimens on view, such as tuberculosis glands, kidneys, hearts, etc. One jar shows a healthy lung, another the organ after being attacked by tuberculosis, and a third jar of a lung which had been affected and later cured of the disease.
A physician from the school explained the exhibit last night. In his pocket he carried a small tube in which he said "are as many tubercle bacilli, the germ which causes tuberculosis, as there are sands in the sea."