Yesterday I received a package from Mario: a Sears Roebuck catalog (reproduction) from 1902. He passed it along because he knows I’m working on a steampunk piece right now, and he thought I might appreciate it. He was correct, of course. In fact, this was a thoughtful and oddly coincidental thing for him to do, since I actually used to work for Sears — managing the copy content for the online version of this very same antique catalog … about 100 years in the future from its original publication.
But I digress. Leafing through this volume I found a book that I am DYING to order, at a mere $1.25 (in 1902 dollars), because I have a feeling that I could learn OMG A LOT from such a treatise. This book came up over lunch today with Team Seattle, whereupon I threatened to repost its entire advertising content on my website.
So please. Allow me to acquaint you with Dr. Hood’s Plain Talks about Nature, Sexual Physiology, Natural Relations of the Sexes, Civilization, Love and Marriage. Because God love ’em, the (late) Victorians sure knew how to name a book and tackle a topic at length, breadth, and at large.
Side note: If anyone, anywhere, has access to a copy of this book in real life (it looks like a real canoe-sinker of a brick, so it’d be hard to miss), then for the love of all that’s holy, please let me know. TELL ME if it’s as awesome as the description under the jump makes it sound. [Edit: Thank God I don’t have an Ebay account. Courtesy of Matchgirl42 on LJ.]
(All formatting reproduced from the original)
Chase the link below to see the whole shebang.
Dr. Hood’s Plain Talks about Nature, Sexual Physiology, Natural Relations of the Sexes, Civilization, Love and Marriage. You cannot get along without a copy. Worth its weight in gold. A common sense medical adviser. No man or woman who anticipates a bright future and wishes to enjoy married life in its fullest sense can afford to be without a copy of this valuable work. It is the largest, latest, most complete and authentic and best medical guide ever published. Here are answered in plain language a thousand questions that occur in the minds of both young and old, but about which they feel a delicacy in consulting their physician. Many chapters are devoted to sexual immorality and numerous interesting subjects concerning marriage and the sexual relations, which make it a superior guide to the actions of men and women both in and out of marriages. Contains an exhaustive treatment of all sexual considerations, distinctive traits of the sexes, developments of the sexual organs, and also the following:
Influence on Civilization — The beginning of civilization, influence of the sexual organs thereon; early polygamy induced compulsive monogamy; encouragement of prostitution by the ancients; as it is in Japan; the concealed wormwood that embitters social life.
Sexual Isolation — Male and female elements in all nature; the universal attraction between the two; the sexual characteristics of different persons explained; effects of sexual isolation upon females in factories; upon old maids; the temptations of young men, etc.
Prostitution — Its moral and physical effects; how disease is generated; is prostitution necessary; the cause of prostitution; how girls are seduced; where reform should commence.
Prevention of Conception — A valuable lesson for those who would enjoy higher and better love.
Unhappy Marriages — Destroys the tone of the nervous system; effects on offspring.
Duties of Married Life — What is perfect happiness? Why are so many marriages a failure?
Diseases of Women — How caused; unwillingness of women to become mothers; diseases of the organs of generation, etc.
Pregnancy — Rules of conduct during pregnancy; diseases of pregnancy; cause, treatment, and cure; prevents of pregnancy, etc.
It covers thousands of other subjects among which are valuable suggestions to those contemplating marrying, factors to be considered in entering the marriage relations; physical basis of marriage; the time to marry; the wedding tour, etc.; jealousy, sexual indifference; subject of prevention; food for pregnant women; philosophy of childbirth; barrenness and excessive child-bearing. Adorned with hundreds of illustrations reproducing the vital organs, anatomy of men and women, blood disorders, ear, eye, and throat diseases, etc. This work is supplemented by a 32-page pamphlet, placed in a pocket inside the back cover of the book. This pamphlet contains twenty-nine special plates, illustrating the female reproductive organs, each plate being fully described. It also contains many chapters devoted to prescriptions for common ailments and emergencies, table of poison antidotes; full and accurate directions for treating wounds, injuries; rules of health, hygiene, etc. Bound in art cloth, printed in two-colored inks, marble edges.