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  #1  
Old 06 September 2007, 05:18 PM
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Icon97 How to Raise Children (1891)

Comment: I can't seem to find this on your site. Is it real? It appears to
be a newspaper article from 1981.

HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN
From the London Times, London Mills, Illinois, 1891

Hints to Workingmen by the Society
for the Diffusion of Useful Information
Among the Poor.

F. R. HAYES.

The ungrateful and immoral hesitation of
many working men to marry, thus curtailing the
supply of future labor, is inexcusable. Any
industrious man can afford to raise children,
and with proper management they soon become
a source of income, enabling the parents to
subsist on lower wages, increasing the
dividends of employers and thus enlarging the
support of church and state, and the spread of
the gospel of Christian civilization and the
heathen in foreign lands.

The proper time for children to be born is in
the latter part of spring, when the weather is
mild. Soon after birth the infant should be put
into a pen in which is a plentiful supply of
loose dirt. An old barrel or box, containing
some straw will answer for shelter from sun or
rain. At the top of the pen a tomato can,
containing milk should be placed and a tube
hanging from this with a nipple at the end will
supply the child with nourishment.

Now, by this judicious and inexpensive
arrangement the mother can be at work soon
after confinement. It costs no more to raise
children than it does to raise pigs, and the
former are more profitable, for when put at
work (which can be done soon after they begin
to walk) they become a source of steady
income; whereas a pig brings a certain sum and
then is of no further value. It is indeed a waste
of material to feed a pig, when the same food
will keep a child. Nutritious swill can be had
for little or nothing, and this homely food,
spiritualized, so to speak, in the form of
working energy in the child, can be
transformed into wages. No labor is so
profitable as child labor; and when such profits
enable the employer to contribute to the spread
of the gospel of light, in benighted heathendom,
we see the blessings that flow from the proper
use of swill, consecrated to the use of the Lord.

What working people need in order to marry
and propagate children is not higher wages, but
a spirit of humility and a recognition of the
duty they owe to their employers. Let them
bring up children in habits of self-denial and
industry, and so make of them contented
citizens, patriotically contributing to the wealth
and enlargement of their country's empire, and
the glory of its industrial magnates and rulers.
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  #2  
Old 06 September 2007, 05:31 PM
Jonny T
 
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I think this is UK rather than US (in spite of the Illinois reference) due to the references to the London Times and "their country's empire." I would also guess that the name of the institution responsible is a corruption of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, which appears to have had a similar remit - the spreading of what those involved considered useful knowledge to the working and middle classes.

that being said, this site (apparently a resource for students on a particular course) has it as an essay handout using the above title.

ETA: there is/was a paper in London Mills, Illinois titled the London Times. so my first paragraph may be entirely wrong. tho the reference to Empire does seem suspect.

Last edited by Jonny T; 06 September 2007 at 05:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06 September 2007, 05:33 PM
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Mateus Mateus is offline
 
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Hmm, it kinda strikes me as satirical.
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  #4  
Old 06 September 2007, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny T View Post
this site (apparently a resource for students on a particular course) has it as an essay handout using the above title.
I already inquired of the teacher who posted that. She said it was transcribed from a multi-generational photocopy of a newspaper clipping, so not much help there in determining whether it's genuine and where it came from.

- snopes
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  #5  
Old 06 September 2007, 05:47 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Anyone have access to the Times Digital Archive?
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  #6  
Old 06 September 2007, 05:51 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Icon202

Quote:
Soon after birth the infant should be put
into a pen in which is a plentiful supply of
loose dirt. An old barrel or box, containing
some straw will answer for shelter from sun or
rain. At the top of the pen a tomato can,
containing milk should be placed and a tube
hanging from this with a nipple at the end will
supply the child with nourishment.
That's what we did with our kids, and they turned out just fine....
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  #7  
Old 06 September 2007, 06:30 PM
Malalaise
 
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Goat

Quote:
It costs no more to raise
children than it does to raise pigs, and the
former are more profitable, for when put at
work (which can be done soon after they begin
to walk) they become a source of steady
income; whereas a pig brings a certain sum and
then is of no further value
Well I'm convinced! Tomorrow I'm starting a child farm!

The inclusion of religious duty makes it a bit believable,but I'm still not convinced it's real
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  #8  
Old 06 September 2007, 10:01 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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It strikes me as a real text that someone has doctored to make it more extreme.

What seems odd is that at first it appears to be directed to city-dwelling factory workers, while the paragraph about the dirt-filled pen, and the barrell or box seems to have farmers in mind. I mean, city poor dwellers in 1891 didn't have yards for pens. Landlords sometimes maintained courtyards, with occassional outhouses, but if you tried to keep a child there, he'd be upping the rent. Also, the comparison to pigs is something city-dwellers wouldn't be likely to understand.
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  #9  
Old 06 September 2007, 10:13 PM
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Simply Madeline Simply Madeline is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
What seems odd is that at first it appears to be directed to city-dwelling factory workers, while the paragraph about the dirt-filled pen, and the barrell or box seems to have farmers in mind. I mean, city poor dwellers in 1891 didn't have yards for pens.
How does one explain Mrs. O'Leary's cow, then?

It was actually pretty common for city-dwellers to keep livestock in those days.
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  #10  
Old 06 September 2007, 10:21 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simply Madeline View Post
How does one explain Mrs. O'Leary's cow, then?

It was actually pretty common for city-dwellers to keep livestock in those days.
Stabled or shared space
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  #11  
Old 06 September 2007, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
Anyone have access to the Times Digital Archive?
The article is supposedly from the Times of London Mills, Illinois, not the Times of London, England. Although it could have become misattributed along the way.

- snopes
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  #12  
Old 08 September 2007, 03:42 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateus View Post
Hmm, it kinda strikes me as satirical.
Same here. It looks and reads like the type of satire that was popular in news paper columns of the day.

Didn't Samuel Clemens print a few satirical suggestions of the similar sort on raising children.
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  #13  
Old 08 September 2007, 03:57 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
How does one explain Mrs. O'Leary's cow, then?

It was actually pretty common for city-dwellers to keep livestock in those days.
Hmmm. I think the O'Learys were fairly well off, and that fire actually started in the stockyard. Slaughterhouses were common in cities, though, so I see your point; however, I think I'm correct that poor people, at whom the article is directed, tended not to have animals.
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  #14  
Old 08 September 2007, 04:09 PM
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If it was USAnian, wouldn't it refer to "hogs" rather than "pigs"?

It's also fairly easy to fake a multigenerational newspaper clipping. I've done it myself when doing April Fools jokes in pre-web days: just paste a fake column in an appropriate font in place of a real column then photocopy the whole thing multiple times (if necessary, age the column before pasting it in by photocopying it until it matches the original in terms of fadedness) .
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  #15  
Old 08 September 2007, 05:08 PM
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geminilee geminilee is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
If it was USAnian, wouldn't it refer to "hogs" rather than "pigs"?
We have both hogs and pigs in the US (depending on size, although I don't remember off the top of my head the weight cutoff at which a pig becomes a hog).
Actually, with a little searching, I found this:
Quote:
Hog: A big pig. There is no true distinction between a pig and a hog, except that hog usually refers to swine
weighing more than fifty pounds.
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  #16  
Old 08 September 2007, 11:50 PM
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Is it just me, or are there tones of "A Modest Proposal"?
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  #17  
Old 09 September 2007, 07:00 PM
Flyer22 Flyer22 is offline
 
 
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I think it's either satire or a hoax. This part sounds like it was lifted from an article about raising farm animals: most animals in the northern hemisphere are born in the spring.

Quote:
The proper time for children to be born is in
the latter part of spring, when the weather is
mild.
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  #18  
Old 10 September 2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookshow Baby View Post
Is it just me, or are there tones of "A Modest Proposal"?
My exact thought, S.B. A satirical article, possibly written in response to some local event or expose'.

The newpaper did exist.
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  #19  
Old 10 September 2007, 10:26 PM
qualli qualli is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
We have both hogs and pigs in the US (depending on size, although I don't remember off the top of my head the weight cutoff at which a pig becomes a hog).
Actually, with a little searching, I found this:
A pig can be considered a hog at around 65 pounds, according to my parents, who used to work in hog parlors. Though now "pig" is a catch all term in groceries and resteraunts.
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  #20  
Old 11 September 2007, 06:32 AM
We'veBeenHad
 
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The bit about the pen doesn't ring true at all to me. I've gotten some very old child-rearing books over the years and there's nothing remotely like that kind of advice even in the unthinkably long-ago ( ) 1891. If you've ever read James Lileks' "Mommy Knows Worst" he's got a lot of very old stuff in there (not quite back to 1891 but close) and though some of it is very arcane (and some is truly stupid), there's nothing approaching that kind of thing. It just seems easier to believe because it was over a hundred years ago, so it's easy to think they were that stupid. Though it might have been written as satire and some people might have thought it was serious (an 1891 urban legend), but those people were more than likely disgusted by it rather than following it. If it was in the paper it might be fun to see some of the outraged responses, letters to the editor, etc in the next edition Along with the note that it wasn't serious to begin with.
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