Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Be Sure The Ice Is Strong

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

if you should meet with an accidentI can’t get skating out of my mind, thanks to recent news of drama and corruption on the ice. Here’s a little reminder to those who don’t have the comfort of a Zamboni-treated ice rink. It’s from an important text titled Everyday Safety, which was written by William A. Evans. Watch yourselves while skating on the pond out back!

1952: Be Sure The Ice Is Strong

Ice skating is a fine sport and is safe provided the ice is strong enough. If you live in the northern part of the United States, you will be able to skate most of the winter, but in the middle section or southern part of the country the winters are frequently so mild that ice skating is seldom safe.

Even if the ice is thick and strong, beware of holes that may be cut through it for fishing or for cutting ice. In streams where the water moves rapidly, the ice may be split in some places and yet there may be stretches of frozen water elsewhere.

If you should meet with an accident and fall into a hole in the ice, try to tread water and life as much of your body out of the hole as possible, spreading your arms wide over the ice so that your weight will be distributed. Taking hold of the edge of the ice may cause additional pieces of the ice to break off.

Source: Evans, William A. Everyday Safety. Chicago: Lyons and Carnahan, 1952.
~ pp. 165-66 ~


Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

you are warned against meThis selection was found while looking for some tips on blisters and burns. Earlier today, after hiking along a river, my friends and I were peering over the edge of a dam when my nutty dog decided she’d like to see what was on the other side of the ledge. She went flying over the wall, and before I knew it she was dangling from her leash above the murky waters by the bank, about ten feet down. She dropped into the water seconds later, but luckily my friend was able to climb down to retrieve her as I held on. She was wet and uninjured. My fingers suffered a bit of leash burn, however. Ow ow ow.

I didn’t find anything in the books to help my particular injury, but did get a laugh out of the seriousness of the introduction to Everyday Safety, written by William A. Evans. With chapters on “Safety in the City,” “Safety in Rural Life,” and “Safety in Recreation,” this excerpt pretty much sets the tone of the book: have fun, kiddies ~ but too much fun is dangerous!

1952: Carelessness

Who Am I?

I am more powerful than the combined armies of the world.

I have destroyed more men than all the wars of the nations.

I am more deadly than bullets, and I have wrecked more homes than the mightiest of guns.

I steal in the United States alone over $500,000,000 each year.

I spare no one, and I find my victims among the rich and the poor alike, the young and the old, the strong and the weak, widows and orphans know me.

I loom up to such proportions that I cast my shadow over every field of labor, from the turning of every grindstone to the moving of every railroad train.

I massacre thousands upon thousands of wage earners in a year.

I lurk in unseen places, and do most of my work silently.

You are warned against me, but you heed not.

I am relentless.

I am everywhere ~ in the home, on the streets, in the factory, at railroad crossings, and on the sea.

I bring sickness, degredation and death, and yet few seek to avoid me.

I destroy, crush and maim; I give nothing but take all.

I am your worst enemy.


Source: Evans, William A. Everyday Safety. Chicago: Lyons and Carnahan, 1952.
~ p. vii ~