York County Public Sales Dangerous to Health?
When I was a child my mother always made sure I was dressed for the weather. In winter my coat was buttoned, a hat or scarf covered my head, mittens were on my little hands and my shod feet stuffed into boots. If it was raining, I couldn’t go out the door without a hooded plastic raincoat (remember how hot they were) and rubber overshoes.
I guess she just came from a long line of York County worriers about the dire consequences of getting damp or chilled. For example, the item below, from the March 12, 1878 York Gazette admonished adults to be careful of the perils of outdoor vendues [public auctions].
“Persons attending vendues at this season of the year cannot be too careful of their health standing on the damp or wet ground, even with the thickest soled boots is little protection. Gum overshoes should also be added. Pneumonia, diphtheria and other diseases are very prevalent just now, and there is nothing so provocative of them as standing about on wet ground.”
I’ll bet the sellers and auctioneers just loved that advice to the public.