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Farm, Field and Fireside: Health and Hygiene

A guide to health and wellness topics in the Farm, Field and Fireside collection of farm periodicals. Supplements the main Farm, Field and Fireside guide.

Overview: Health and Beauty

"Advertising acquired profound power in the women's health industry as commercial products became accepted sources of medical advice."1

In Farm, Field and Fireside

General search strategies: feminine NEAR disease*, female NEAR disease*, wom?n* NEAR disease, wom?n AND cancer

Terms: prolapsus, sterility, "monthly period", menses, "female irregularities", "sanitary protector", "dress reform", "physical exercise" (variant: "physical culture"),

The collection includes much information on pregnancy and childbirth. The treatment of birth control is thin, in part at least because the Comstock Law of 1873 made it illegal to distribute such information through the mail.2

Terms: "prenatal care", pregnancy, confinement, miscarriagechildbirth, "birth control", eugenics, "race suicide".

Other Sources

Birth Control Review.
Monthly periodical published by Margaret Sanger between 1917-1940.
On reels P15 and P16 of the microfilm collection History of Women.
Galbraith, Anna Mary. Hygiene and Physical Culture for Women. New York: Dodd, Meade, and Company, 1895.
Kellogg, J.H. Ladies' Guide in Health and Disease: Girlhood, Maidenhood, Wifehood, Motherhood. Des Moines, Iowa: W.D. Condit, 1883.
Lewis, Dio. Five-Minute Chats with Young Women, and Certain Other Parties. New York: Harper, 1874.
Macfadden, Bernarr. The Power and Beauty of Super Womanhood: How They are Lost and How They May be Regained and Developed to the Highest Degree of Attainable Perfection. New York: Physical Culture Publishing, 1901.
Meigs, Charles D. Females and their Diseases: A Series of Letters to His Class. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1848.
Pancoast, S. The Ladies' New Medical Guide: an Instructor, Counsellor and Friend in All the Delicate and Wonderful Matters Peculiar to Women. Chicago: Thompson and Thomas, 1890.
Ruddock, E.H. The Lady's Manual of Homœopathic Treatment in the Various Derangements Incident to Her Sex. London: Homœopathic Publishing Company.
9 editions: 1865-1886.
Studley, Mary. What Our Girls Ought to Know. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1882.
Willard, Frances Elizabeth. "Health Department: Physical Culture and Dress Reform." Minutes of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, at the Eighteenth Annual Meeting, in Boston, Mass., 13-18 November, 1891. Chicago: Woman's Temperance Publication Association, 1891. 103-11.
See also: Harberton, Florence. "Dress Reform and its Necessity." The World's Congress of Representative Women. Vol. 1. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1894. 367-71.
Writings of Farm Women, 1840-1940: an Anthology. Eds. Carol Fairbanks and Bergine Haakenson. New York: Garland, 1990.

Further Reading

David, Paul A., and Warren C. Sanderson. "Rudimentary Contraceptive Methods and the American Transition to Marital Fertility Control, 1855-1915." Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth. Eds. Stanley L. Engerman and Robert E. Gallman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. 307-90.
Delaney, Janice, Mary Jane Lupton, and Emily Toth. The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation. Revised ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.
Fairbanks, Carol, and Sara Brooks Sudnberg. Farm Women on the Prairie Frontier: a Sourcebook for Canada and the United States. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1983.
Part bibliographic essay, part critical study of source documents.
Fink, Deborah, and Alicia Carriquiry. "Having Babies or Not: Household Composition and Fertility in Rural Iowa and Nebraska, 1900-1910." Great Plains Quarterly. 12.3 (1992): 157-68.
Hampsten, Elizabeth. Read This Only to Yourself: the Private Writings of Midwestern Woman, 1880-1910. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.
Kidd, Laura, and Jane Farrell-Beck. "Menstrual Products Patented in the United States, 1854-1921." Dress: the Journal of the Costume Society of America. 24 (1997): 27-42.
Palmer, Rachel Lynn, and Sarah K. Greenberg. Facts and Frauds in Woman's Hygiene: a Medical Guide Against Misleading Claims and Dangerous Products. New York: Vanguard Press, 1936.
Phillips, M.C. Skin Deep: the Truth about Beauty Aids, Safe and Harmful. New York: Vanguard Press, 1934.
Poirier, Suzanne. "Women's Reproductive Health." Women, Health, and Medicine in America: a Historical Handbook. Ed. Rima D. Apple. New York: Garland, 1990. 217-246.
Vostral, Sharra. "Conspicuous Menstruation: the History of Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene Products in America, 1860-1960." Diss. Washington University, 2000.
Women, Health, and Medicine in America: A Historical Handbook. Ed. Rima D. Apple. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990.