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School Sanitation, c. 1911

Education. Brick Closet outside a Schoolroom
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A435
Document Description
Two run-down outhouses next to a school building, circa 1911.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Graph and analyze the number of people that died from diseases related to sanitary conditions (cholera, typhoid).
Science: Explore medical inventions and discoveries that have improved the life expectancy of US citizens.
English Language Arts: After examining conditions of some rural schools, write letters to public officials demanding improvements be made of sanitation conditions.
Gordon, Richard. An Alarming History of Famous and Difficult Patients: Amusing Medical Anecdotes from Typhoid Mary to FDR. St. Martin's Press, February 1997. ISBN: 0312150482
Kennedy, Michael. A Brief History of Disease, Science and Medicine. Asklepiad Press, January 2004. ISBN: 0974946648
Manson, Ainslie and Mary Jane Gerber. House Calls: The True Story of a Pioneer Doctor. Groundwood Books, October 2001. ISBN: 088899446X
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. A Coal Miner's Bride: Diary of Anetka Kaminska (Dear America). Scholastic, Inc., June 2000. ISBN: 0439053862

Historical Context
Typhoid was a fast-spreading disease in the early 1900s.  This disease was a highly infectious, often deadly disease transmitted through contaminated water or food.  The cause of many of these outbreaks was traced to a poor and/or non-existent sewer system.  Leakage from outhouses seeped into wells, contaminating much of the water supply and drinking water.
Essential Question
How do human settlement patterns impact individual health and well being?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the impact of these conditions on the local community.