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creepy, the language is charmingly outdated, and the lessons in the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.
Hygiene for the worker ([c1912])
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
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
Here’s the 32 minute video of my presentation at last month’s O’Reilly Security Conference in New York, “Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned.”
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