September 28, 2012

Medicine in the Nineteenth Century: Take a Crap

Let's talk toilets.  The invention of the flush toilet was a major advance in public health. We recently took a look at outhouses (see Teen Life Way Back When) and, as one can imagine, they were a hotbed of germs spread by hand-to-mouth.  Or, in other words, you crapped, then you ate something without washing your hands.  True, this is still practiced today by some people (yuk!) but, by and large, with the invention of the flush toilet and handwashing afterwards, most of those germs were  washed away (more on handwashing next time).

But who really invented the flush toilet and when?  Thomas Crapper is largely credited with the invention (I am not making this up - that really was his name).  According to the article "Thomas Crapper: Myth and Reality" (see link below), he was born in 1836 in England.  He may have been involved in the evolution of the flush toilet, but, as it turns out, he probably didn't invent it.

So where did the term "take a crap" come from?  It seems that is still open to debate.  The story I like best dervies from World War I.  Soldiers using the facilities in England saw  "T. Crapper - Chelsea" imprinted on the toilet tank thus forever linking Mr. Crapper's name with the toilet. Soon, "the crapper" became slang for toilet.  We still use this term today.


September 25, 2012

Third Book Finished!


Hello everyone!  I took a brief hiatus from blogging to finish my third book.  Yeah - finally done and submitted to my publisher, Whiskey Creek Press.  Fingers crossed that they will accept it.

It's entitled The Baby Farm: Book Two of the Secret Society of Sugar and Spice. It's a sequel to my second book, The Secret Society of Sugar and Spice, which is scheduled for release in March, 2013. Here is a blurb:


     Claire Sargent and the Secret Society of Sugar and Spice, a group of girls who are inmates of the Home for Abandoned and Orphaned Children, face their most daunting mission yet, for not only must they find a baby girl, they must steal her away.
     Hannah Winter is seventeen-years-old, seven months pregnant and married to the wrong man.  With her true love gone, she is forced to marry a brutal man, for it’s 1885, and her only choice is to marry someone, anyone, or give up her baby.  But once her daughter is born, her cruel husband sells the child to a baby farm. Outraged, Hannah attacks.  He savagely beats her and imprisons her in an attic. She must submit or die. Now it is up to the Secret Society to plan a daring escape and spirit Hannah away to safety.  But once rescued, Hannah won’t leave… without her daughter.  

More to follow.  Stay tuned...