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Page Sickness a tax on the community, .

343 Skin, care of the, by persons disposed to consumption, Slaughter-houses and noxious and offensive trades, duties of local boards concerning, .

469 Sleeping-rooms,

240 Small-pox in Massachusetts, in Spencer,

3, 542 Social condition of our farmers,

185 Somerville, city of, with reference to Miller's River nuisances (see, also, Note after Index),

11 correspondence with health authorities of,

12 Southbridge, typhoid in,

540 Spencer, small-pox in,

542 State has an interest in health of the people,

336, 354 Streets should be made safe for dwellers as well as travellers,

370 Sudbury and Concord Rivers, .

96, 125 examination of (Table),

98 Sudbury River and Lake Cochituate (Map), .

112 Sunlight needed in farm-houses,

250 Swine-slaughtering in Miller's River district (see, also, Note after Index), .


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Teachers require fewer pupils,
Towns, health of, alphabetically arranged,

reports from certain, alphabetically arranged,
Trichina disease in Becket,
Typhoid fever in Southbridge,

investigation in Medford,
in Weymouth,
in Williamstown,

358 . 26, 513

515 523 540





Unhealthy districts, their creation should be prevented,
Utilizing animal substances in Paris,




Vacations of schools, .
Vegetables, decaying, in cellars,
Ventilation of schools,




Waltham filter-basin,
Water, analysis of, method employed,
Water-supply from rivers,



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. 26, 488

491 498



Zinced iron for storage and conveyance of drinking-water,
Zinc, action of water upon,
Zine, are the products of, in contact with water, poisonous ?
Zinc, carbonate of, its effects, .
Zinc, chloride of, its effects,
Zine dissolved in water,
Zinc, impurities of,
Zinc, oxide of, its effects,
Zinc, products of the action of water upon,
Zinc, sulphate of, its effects,



509 503


505 NOTE.

It is stated in the General Report of the Board, page 18 of the present volume, that the three great establishments for slaughtering swine in the Miller's River district have all been enlarged since the passage of the law of April, 1871, concerning "noxious and offensive trades,” notwithstanding the power given to the boards of health of cities and towns, by this law, to prevent such enlargement; and that the working capacity of these slaughter-houşes has been more than doubled, “ without permission and without remonstrance," from the cities of Cambridge and Somerville.

This statement was made only after receiving, in reply to letters of inquiry, written assurance from the clerks of those cities that no action had been taken with reference to the three establishments in question, under the law of 1871.

It appears, however, from a communication received February 14, 1874, from the city clerk of Somerville, that the words.“ without remonstrance” are not correct in so far as Somerville is concerned. A second and more careful examination of the records of the city of Somerville was made by the city clerk, who states that a petition to enlarge their works was received from North, Meriam & Co., June 1, 1872 ; that this petition was referred to the committee on health, who reported adversely, and that their report was accepted. A temporary injunction was subsequently obtained from the supreme judicial court by the health authorities of Somerville. This injunction was dissolved by order of the court, August 2, 1872.

It thus appears that the city of Somerville did make earnest, although ineffectual, efforts to prevent the enlargement of one of their swineslaughtering establishments in the summer of 1872.

The second letter of the city clerk of Somerville was received by the State Board of Health while this volume was in press, and after the printing of the General Report of the Board, but while there was yet opportunity to make this statement in this place.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Hon. GEORGE B. LORING, President of the Senate of Massachusetts.

SIR :I have the honor to present to the legislature the Fifth Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of the State Board of Health.


To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of


The State Board of Health herewith presents its Fifth Annual Report.

SMALL-Pox. One year ago, when the Fourth Report of this Board was presented to the legislature, we were in the midst of an epidemic of small-pox of extraordinary intensity. The disease had existed during the previous year (1872) in twothirds of all the cities and towns of Massachusetts, and was then present in most of them. Small-pox had invaded Europe and America, as it had not done before during the present century, and very few communities had entirely escaped its ravages. Wherever the spark of contagion fell upon the unvaccinated or upon those who were only partially under the influence of previous vaccination, there it seemed ready to kindle the fires of unmodified or modified small-pox.

The deaths from this cause numbered one thousand and twenty-nine in 1872, which is equal to 70.58 to each 100,000 of population by the census of 1870. The mortality from small-pox in Massachusetts in 1873 is not yet known through the registration returns, but the general course of the epidemic is quite evident from the returns of deaths from all causes made to this Board every week by the clerks and registrars of the largest cities and towns. From these returns, which represent the deaths in about one-third of the whole population, it would appear that the greatest mortality from small-pox was in the winter of 1872-3, and that the disease continued to be very widely diffused, and very virulent and fatal in

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