The Decay of American Manhood (1917)

The Decay of American Manhood (1917)

This essay by John Harvey Kellogg appeared in Association Men, the official publication for Y.M.C.A. leaders during World War I. The piece caught my eye because so many people I encounter have an almost unreasonably nostalgic view of the past that does not make sense when looking at the world through the words of people living at the time. “People are people” and that has always been true.

The Decay of American Manhood

By J.H. Kellogg, M.D.,
Battle Creek, Michigan

History records nothing so wonderful as the development and progress of this great nation in the last hundred years.

But a blight has struck us.

American manhood is decaying.

We are going morally at a terrifying rate.

We have foes at home more deadly and destructive than our European enemies.

Davenport has shown that one in every hundred men is mentally defective, insane, epileptic, habitually criminal, or feeble-minded.

Recent military examinations have brought out most appalling facts.

Major Orr, a medical officer of the regular army, tells us that two to three out of every four applicants for the army are rejected as physically unfit.

Draft examinations show more than half our young men unfit for military training.

The examinations of the Life Extension Institute show only one man in a hundred wholly free from disease and physically fit. (more…)

Smash Hits Online

Smash Hits Online

Smash Hits, a pop music magazine aimed at teenagers, was originally published in the United Kingdom by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued every other week for most of that period.

The magazine was at its peak in the 1980s, launching the career of many journalists including Heat’s editor Mark Frith. Other well-known writers have included Dave Rimmer, Ian Birch, Mark Ellen (who went on to launch Q, Mojo and Word), Steve Beebee, Peter Martin, Chris Heath, Sylvia Patterson, Sian Pattenden, Tom Hibbert, and Miranda Sawyer.

Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys also worked as a writer and assistant editor, and once claimed that had he not become a pop star, he would likely have pursued his ambition to become editor.

Many issues from the late 1970s to the early 1980s have been digitized as a collection at the Internet Archive Magazine Rack as Smash Hits Magazine.

These issues include color and black and white photos, interviews, announcements, lyrics, and clothing ads as well classified ads for pen pals, or “Biro Buddies.”


Gift idea:  “Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom…” – You are Welcome!

Gift idea: “Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom…” – You are Welcome!

Black Friday has come and gone, but anyone still needing to pick up a gift for a woman they love is in luck.  Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom: Witty, Wicked and Wise Reflections on Well-Lived Lives by  Dr. Lois P. Frankel and illustrated by Lisa Graves is available as a paperback.

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom

This gorgeous 182-page book collects advice, reflections, and memories from women of all walks of life. Dr. Frankel decided to focus the book on women from the age of seventy and up, including a few centenarians.  These woman encompass a wide range of human experience and come from a multitude of economic, religious, educational, and ethnic backgrounds.

In her introduction she lays out the guiding principle of the book:

Unfortunately most people tend to lump all older women into the same homogenous pile when nothing could be further from the truth.  They are as different in maturity as they were in their youth. … Social-minded young women become mature women who volunteer for hospice or teach immigrant women how to read… adventurous young women continue to seek challenges to conquer.  The stories I collected from women around the world reflect these differences in temperament, background, experiences, and interests.

These quotes appear alongside snippets of biographical information to provide context to what these women have to share with the rest of us.

The book itself is beautiful. The text is lifted and highlighted by Lisa Grave’s beautiful illustrations throughout the stories.  You can find more links to Grave’s work on her History Witch Facebook page.

The photos, typefaces, layout, and art come together as a lovely book that would make a great gift this year.  If I had my wish, Frankel and Graves would adapt this book into a daily quote calendar.  I would totally buy that.

And if you buy a copy for yourself… which you totally should… there is an added bonus in the form of 6 beautifully designed pages to record some wisdom from ‘an Ageless Woman in Your Life.’

Ageless Woman, Timeless Wisdom

Ageless Woman, Timeless Wisdom


Six Winter Meals I’ll Never Make

Six Winter Meals I’ll Never Make

The cooler months are encompass my favorite seasons for cooking. The cold weather makes warming up the kitchen a pleasant task and the stews and soups made from winter vegetables are among my very favorite dishes.

That being said, I’d feel completely inadequate competing at hospitality with the 19th Century homemakers who were able to produce the kinds of meals described in the January 1861 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. To be fair though, I suspect these meals involved the help of one of more servants.

Company Dinners for Winter

Meal One

Mulligatawny soup, fresh cod-fish fried, boiled ham, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, fowls stewed whole, oyster pie; potato snow, turnips, parsnips, winter-squash. Cocoa-nut pudding, lemon pudding, mince-pie, calfs-foot jelly.
<h4″>Meal Two

Clear gravy soup, stewed rock-fish, roasted ham, venison pie, boiled turkey with oyster sauce, brown fricassee; sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, beets. Orange pudding, almond pudding, meringued apples, chocolate cream.

Meal Three

Venison soup, fresh cod-fish boiled; smoked tongue, roast goose with apple sauce, oyster pie, French stew of rabbits; turnips, potato snow, parsnips, onion custard, beets. Transparent pudding, orange tarts, mince-pie, floating island.

Meal Four

Mock turtle soup, boiled rock-fish, ham pie, smoked tongue, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, boiled fowls with celery sauce, oyster loaves, sweetbread croquettes; turnips, parsnips, beets, macaroni, Charlotte russe, mince-pie, calf’s-foot jelly, blanc-mange.

Meal Five

Rich brown soup, fresh cod-fish stewed, boiled ham, venison roasted, red-head ducks with currant jelly, oyster patties, veal rissoles; turnips, parsnips, winter-squash, beets, cole-slaw. Mince pudding, omelet souffle, orange flummery, vanilla ice-cream.

Meal Six

Rich white soup, fresh cod-fish fried, roasted ham, venison pie, boiled turkey with oyster sauce, partridges, chicken rice pudding, potato snow, beets, turnips, winter-squash, stewed red cabbage. Plum pudding, chocolate blanc-mange, cocoa-nut cream, apple-jelly.

Family party

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book – January, 1861

Top Image: Table setting for a formal diner at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith