History of Nursing: Its Second Decade 1911-20
Recognizing the practicality of its readers, in 1912 Breastfeeding time organized one of its first competitions – for inventions and ideas.
The journal had a booth at the London Nursing and Midwifery Exhibition, where it planned to exhibit the inventions of nurses, midwives, masseuses and medical visitors.
In order to attract nominations for the exhibition, it offered prizes for the best entries in two classes. Class I, was for “any invention not yet on the market or any smart device or idea” and had a first prize of Â£ 10 and a gold medal, while the first prize for class II (any invention already on the market) was Â£ 5 and a gold medal.
The first congress of the Eugenics Society was held in 1912 with the aim of making the 20e century when the eugenic ideal was accepted as part of the creed of civilization.
A report in Breastfeeding time points out that the topic was of interest to nurses because “they brought before them by force in the form of fools, epileptics and other degenerate children, the result of the mating of the unfit”.
August 8, 1914 Breastfeeding time devoted his editorial page to the solemn news that “the cloud which had been covering our country for a week has burst and that England is at war with Germany”.
However, the issue quickly moved on to other important issues with a two-page report on the third annual Nursing Times Lawn Tennis Challenge Cup competition, in which Guy’s Hospital beat St Georges by 31 games to 26 ahead at the less 500 spectators.
War quickly became a major concern for Breastfeeding time, however, when it became clear that it would not be, as generally expected by most of the population, over by Christmas.
Nurses were suddenly thrown into the deep end to treat victims of air raids at home and military personnel at home and abroad. major trauma that most would never have encountered before.
Advertisers reflected the concerns of the time, with Boots Pure Drug Company Limited advertising a new mustard gas burn treatment that had “remarkable results in hospitals.”
During the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, help came from a surprising source – Oxo, apparently “strengthens the system against influenza infection”.
Even in such dire times, however, Breastfeeding time never forgot her promise to serve the interests of her readers as women and nurses.
Lighter items during the war years included tips on hair and hats (“the safety rule is to follow the line of your head when combing your hair”) and tips on how to make a bead bag ( “The bag of the moment … but, alas! Very expensive”).
This article was first published on May 10, 2005, as part of a series on the history of nursing and Breastfeeding time on the occasion of the magazine’s centenary.