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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1905)
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THE OMATTA DAILY PEE: SUNDAY. OCTOBER 8. 1905.
,iMMJii ccs;T chits a day I 't
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BENEFIT OF PUBLIC BATHS
More in the Direction of Cleanliisesa aid
Health in the Large Cities.
BATHS NOW IN USE AND PROJECTED
Experiences is Sew York, Boston,
Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Chi
cago Batha la Pobllc School
By Bertha H. Smith. Courtesy The Out
look. Within the last year New York has
built four new baths, and now has In op
eration seven, Ave of which are under
municipal management and absolutely free;
the other two the People's bath in Cen
ter Market place, and the Mtlbank Me
morial being maintained by the Associa
tion for Improving the Condition of the
Poor, with a charge of I oents for soap and j
towel. Four more are In course of con
struction, and appropriation has been made
and site selected for another, ' which Is
designed to be the largest and finest public
bath In the world. la addition, there are
appropriations for four others for which
sites have not yet been selected. Brooklyn
has In operation and In coarse of construc
tion five municipal baths. , This makes
a total of eighteen public baths, for which
nearly $2,000,000 have been appropriated.
When this system of baths Is completed
Oreater New York wUI be prepared to fur
nish 13,000,000 free baths a year. In other
words, every man, woman and child with
out home facilities can have two baths a
week at the city's expense.
Bostoa's Beach Baths.
A century ago Boston built and main
tained at the city's expense a great sys
tem of beach baths, which were the first
provision made In this country for fre
quent and economical bathing for the
masses. A little more than a decade ago
Chicago opened the first all-the-year-round
tenements In New York are without baths
rago's lead Boston and Baltimore, Albany,
Syracuse, Cleveland and other smaller
cities took this step toward sanitary re
form and provided their working poor with
means of keeping clean all the year.
It has taken more than 1,000 years for
history to repeat Itself In the matter of
free baths, and the United States Is the
ouly country today where a man can walk
Will be filled Promptly
Into a public bath as he would Into a
park or library, and be furnished a bath
that Is not only cleansing, but la provided
with every regard for sanitary principles.
London, Liverpool, Glasgow, many French
and German cities notably Vienna still
far surpass American cities In the number
and appointments of their public baths,
but without exception a fee is charged.
But the masses In the great cities are
as badly oft as they ever were. The old
tenements In New Yoik are without boths
and nearly a fourth of those now being
built have none. The only water supply
In cheap tenements comes from a faucet
in the dark hall, which is used In common
by from a dosen to fifty tenants.
Loot Fight and Victory.
But for Dr. Simon Baruch of New York
there would probably not be a free public
bath In the United States today. Dr.
Baruch based his plea upon the fact that
modern hygiene has demonstrated that the
essential principal of sanitation lies In
cleanliness. He argued the inexpedlence of
spending millions annually for the relief of
distress and almost nothing to prevent
disease and improve the condition of the
poor while still in health.
He thought Boston's beach baths a fine
thing. He did not condemn New York's
floating baths. He merely said that no
bath la cleansing taken with clothing on
and without soap where the body Is soiled;
and. further, that swimming baths, while
refreshing, require an amount of courage
and resolution that debars many from their
use. His fight was for the sanitary bath.
After three years the first result was the
bath built -by the Association for Improv
ing the Condition of the Poor, which was
not, as Dr. Baruch contended public baths
should be, absolutely free. Two years later
Dr. Gertrude Wellington of the Municipal
Order League, Chicago, visited New York,
conferred with Dr. Baruch, went home, se
cured from the council an appropriation of
(12,000 within a month and In less than a
year Chicago had the first free municipal
bath In the world. Chicago now has five,
with four more to be built In 1906.
Other Clllee Follow.
In 1(198 Boston opened the Dover street
bath and took charge of the bath in the
East Boston gymnasium, and has since
built two more combination baths and gyai
naslums. Baltimore had the nrst of Its
three baths a year before New York opened
the Rlvlngton street bath. It la possible
that Baltimore, like Philadelphia, might
have lagged behind with New York, but for
the -generosity of one of Its cltlsens, Mr.
Henry Walters, who gave fSo.OQO for the
building of the first two baths, and later
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an additional 126.000 for a bath for the ex
clusive use of colored people. Philadelphia
has as yet done nothing In the way of per
manent free baths, but some of Its public
spirited citizens have built and are oper
ating two 6-cent baths.
The style of architecture of the public
bath must be simple In order that the poor
may not be repelled by a pretentious ex
terior and the usefulness of the baths be
That cleanliness, though next of kin to
godliness, must, like a taste for olives, be
cultivated, Is proved by the way the at
tendance at public baths follows the mer
cury up and down. In the Rlvlngton street
bath. New York, which furnishes "tiO.otO
baths a year, the attendance varies from
200 or 100 on a bllzzardy day In January to
4.000 or 6,000 on a sweltering day of mid
July. ' Places Most Be Attractive.
Public baths must be attractive. They
must be light and warm and clean. And It
la true that the river and beach baths
which in New York -and Boston prove a
boon to millions during the summer heat
have had an educational value In encour
aging the bathing habit. Men and women,
boys and girls who have gone to these
swimming baths because they had the ele
ment of fun as well as of refreshment, have
acquired habits of cleanliness not through
a sense of duty, but of creature comfort.
Perhaps the most Important of all prob
lems connected with public baths Is whether
they should be free or not. On this opinions
differ. From the beginning Boston has
made no eharge for the actual use of any
of Its municipal baths. At the beach baths
a fee of ( cents is charged for bathing suits,
except at the North End beach (one of the
largest), where suits are furnished free.
The universal charge for a towel Is 1 cent.
In Baltimore there Is a charge of 3 cents
for soap and towel.
In Philadelphia's nonmunlctpal baths, as
In the two In New York, the fee Is 6 cents
for soap and towel. But no man or woman
has ever been turned away from any of
these baths for lack of the 6 cents.
Chicago makes no charge whatever, fur
nishing soap and towel. New York has
also adopted the free policy with regard to
the baths, but bathers must bring soap and
The worthy poor of a city are often re
luctant to take advantage of what Is of
fered free. On the other hand, there are
those living near 6-cent baths who will pay
two car tares to go to a free bath, ao eager
are they to get all that is coming for noth
ing. j Where public health and welfare art in-
volved, as In this question of personal
cleanliness, it Is not, as before stated, what
people can do, but what they will do, not
what they should do, but what they do,
that must decide social and civic policy.
Says Dr. Baruch:- "I consider that I have
done more to Bave life and prevent the
spread of disease In my work for public
baths than In all my work as a physician,
it Is the duty of a municipality to prevent
disease. It Is the duty of a municipality to
prevent Immorality. I believe that money
spent for public baths where people can go
and get clean does more toward falsing the
standard of health and morality than a
much greater amount spent in any other
way." To this New York's health com
missioner adds that public baths tend to
lessen pneumonia and tuberculosis, the chief
causes of mortality among New York's
poor, because bathing reduces the liability
to colds and throat trouble. The Boston
Bath commission reports "a marked de
crease In juvenile arrests during the past
ten, years, and that the work of the bath
department has been the greatest single
agency In effecting this vital Improvement
In public morals."
In Baltimore the public bath movement
has resulted In a law requiring a bath to
be built In every new house, the efficacy
of which, however. Is questioned by a mem
ber of New York's Tenement House coin
mission, who says: "Of what good Is such
a law unless It Is followed by a clause com
pelling every man to take a bath at Btated
times? I say let us have public baths, and
still more public baths."
The public bath movement Is branching
In every direction. Boston and New York
are experimenting with baths In the public
schools. Regular periods are set aside for
the bath, and not only the pupils needing
but those desiring )ths are given an op
portunity to take them. Where they have
been longest In use, there is not only a
marked improvement In the general health
of the children, but a resultant mental
alertness as well. Bertha H. Smith In the
tilft for the Bride.
"Buzzle" Spencer of New York, whose
marriage to Miss Mary Sands took place
on Tuesday, presented to his bride the
KP.OmO necklace which was specially be
queathed to him by his grandmother, old
Mrs. Lorlllard Spencer, who died at Lucerne
laat winter. It la a notable piece of Jew
elry, composed of fine old Brazilian stones
and attached to It are three diamond pen
dants, a large one and two smaller ones,
which can be detached and worn as
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MILLARD DRESS CLUB
Telephone 1187 1218 Douglas St. M. KEISER, Prop.
BORGLUM'S ANGELS FROSTED
Diltinotive Female Facet PreTokri Criti
oism of Church Deaooni.
MODELED FACES MUST BE CHANGED
Over a Score of Figures for a Chapel
la Kcw York Episcopal Cathedral
and Not a Men Among
They're changing the faces of some
thirty or forty angels In the Belmont Me
morial chapel of the Cathedral of St. John
the Divine on Mornlngslde Heights, New
York City. The sculptor who modeled the
angels made them all women angels. And
the building committee, stirred up by ob
servant delegates to the diocesan conven
tion of the Protestant Episcopal church re
cently in session here, has firmly but
solemnly ordered that women angels won't
The cathedral was visited during the con
vention proceedings by many out of town
clergymen, as well as by many of the clergy
of the city, who went sight-seeing with
their rural brethren. In the last six months
all the sculpture which now decorates the
Belmont chapel has been executed, and
there was accordingly a great deal to see.
The manner of the discovery of the scandal
of the women angels, according to the
stories being told In clerical circles, is that
one of the visiting rectors walked up to a
man apparently a layman by his dress,
who was fussing around the statuary with
some appearance of authority.
"Pardon me," said the clergyman, "par
don me, my good friend, but can you tell
me who was responsible for the modeling
of these figures these angels?"
"I can," said the layman, "and will. I
am responsible for them. I either modelled
them myself or they were modelled under
my direction. Permit me to introduce my
selfmy name Is Borglum."
The clergyman was just the least bit em
barrassed, so he told his friends afterward,
by the attitude of Mr. Borglum. He la J.
Guntzen Mothe-Borglum, and is a well
known sculptor, and apparently felt that
he had done good work and that the clergy
man was about to express a fitting appre
ciation of It. But the clergyman stood to
his convictions and pursued his Inquiry.
. "My dear sir." he said, "can you tell me,
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then, what scriptural authority you have
for the conception of these angels as fe
males? I am myself fairly diligent as a
searcher of the Scriptures, but, bless me, I
do not know of any except secular writings
In which angels are spoken of as women!
These figures are very beautiful, my dear
sir, very beautiful, but they are not angels.
Beauty of countenance and chastity of
IKise, and wings, do not necessarily, my
dear sir, make an angel."
Mr. Borglum had spent some six months
or more In artistic absorption and execu
tion on those angels. The minister said
that he saw by Mr. Borglum's attitude that
he felt much Inclined to stand by his works.
The sculptor quoted a number of medieval
precedents for the figuring of angels as
feminine. He referred to the angels of Fra
Angellco and to the Angel of the Annuncia
tion by Donatella. He parted with the man
of God, according to the latter, "chastened
but hardly convinced."
In fact, there was a rumor, not circu
lated by the clergyman who Interviewed
Mr. Borglum (who has side whiskers), but
by a young student for orders who over
heard part of the conversation, that one of
Mr. Borglum's very secular assistants was
heard to say, "I suppose they want us to
put sideboards on 'em," as the two walked
away from the clergyman, and was at
once and sternly suppressed by the sculptor.
At any rate, the clergyman got busy. He
circulated among his brethren and the
angels were studied and discussed until the
matter began to rise to the proportions of a
Criticisms Well Founded.
It came to the ears of the Rev. Dr. John
P. Peters, who, as secretary of the building
committee, was much exercised. More
over, many of the clerical critics who vis
ited the chapel felt that there was not suf
ficient repose about the sixteen fcrgels,
which are at the entrances. They sa'.d that
there seemed too much "lack of repose"
about them. Dr. Peters wrote to the sculp
tor, expressing his sense that these criti
cisms were none of them without founda
tion and calling to his attention the fact
that all the angels mentioned in the Bible
had masculine names. He scored the point
on Mr. Borglum that one of the most Im
portant and conspicuous figures In all the
heavenly company with which the chapel
was graced was that of the Angel of the
Incarnation. Mr. Borglum bad portrayed
this angel as a very beautiful woman of a
Madunnallke sweetness and seriousness.
Dr. Peters gently Intimated that the New
Testament specifically slated that the An
gel of the Incarnation wag tha Ajrohangel ,
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Gabriel and that any lady who assumed
the honor was an Impostor. He also
brought to Mr. Borglum's notice, so It is
understood, that Azrael, Michael and
Raphael were not ladles.
Mr. Borglum replied with becoming
meekness. He. acknowledged that though
he seemed to have strayed from the ec
clesiastically technical conception of
heavenly messengers, he felt that artistic
ally, by tradition and practice through
the best methods of ecclesiastical art he
was justified. But as for the entrauoe
angels, and the "lack of repose" Mr.
Borglum showed some feeling. He waa
astounded. He had grieved over those
entrance angels. As his models had been
executed by the stone cutters, they seemed
to have lost all Inspiration of light and Ufa
and to have become like mortuary figures
on tombstones. He said In effect "that
they seemed so dead that he did not be
lieve himself that anything more dead
could possibly have been fashioned."
Slaking; New Faces.
The ecclesiastics who had been outraged
by the forty lady angels appealed to the
Rev. Dr. W. R. Huntington as soon as ha
returned to his parish. He is the chair
man of the building committee. He was at
once and seriously Impressed by the crisis
and has asserted his Intention of communi
cating with Mr. Borglum at once.
Whether he has already dune so or not
could not be learned, but certainly the
opponents of the feminine portrayal of an
gels have received some assurance that
their views are to receive consideration.
The word has gone out that the angels
are to be changed at once. The soft fem
inine faces are to be made more stern, the
rounded feminine chocks and other con
tours are to be made rigid and muscular.
There will be no ripping out of the finished
statues they will merely be amended.
An effort was made, to get a statement
from Mr. Borglum last evening. He took
a position of high artistic dignity.
"Any criticism of iny work at the chapel,"
he said, "Is properly the function of the
building committee of the cathedral, and
should be expressed by them. I will Suy
only this, that any suggestions the com
mittee makes I receive gratefully and will
endeavor to meet and carry Into the work
to the best of my power and conscience
as an artist. New York Bun.
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