Hygiene for the Worker: 1912 guide to being a sweet-smelling prole

Meg sez, "I just found a copy of one of my favorite used-book finds ever, 1912's Hygiene for the Worker, on the Internet Archive. It's wonderful in so many ways. The illustrations are simultaneously delightful and creepy, the language is charmingly outdated, and the lessons in the book attempt to create a race of scrubbed-clean, milk-drinking super employees who spend their vacations at home 'laying up a greater store of health and energy than the young people who come back tired and weary from having too good a time at the mountains and other regular summer resorts.'"
Hair. Most boys and girls, ordinarily, do not value or pay sufficient attention to the little things that go to make up a good appearance.

Take the hair, for instance. If you want to make a good impression, don't apply for a position with your scalp and hair so unclean as to be offensive.

It has now become the rule, in certain large offices, to draw the line against the girls and young women whose hair is fantastically arranged in the extreme of style. Elaborate head dressings suggest to the employer a certain vanity, self-consciousness, and frivolity that render a girl unable to put her mind seriously upon her work.

Clothing. Here also should be mentioned the impro- priety of wearing, during business, clothing that seems suitable only for evening or home use. The type of waist known as the lingerie is one that the business girl should not wear in the office. It is neither sensible nor dignified. Nor is it an economy, for on account of its sheerness it requires greater care and expense in laundering ; hence, it is seldom washed as frequently as it should be. There is nothing more distasteful to the average business man than unclean finery.

Boys and girls both are inclined to run to extremes of style in their dress, usually preferring garments that are of the most up-to-date cut and shape to those of more modest appear- ance, which are generally found to be made better and of more enduring materials. This is equally true of hats and shoes. An employer will probably notice whether you are wearing elaborately cut and high-heeled shoes, run down, unbrushed, and with broken laces, or whether your feet are shod in sensible, well-fitting shoes, kept clean and neat.

Hygiene for the worker ([c1912]) (Thanks, Meg!)
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