Tuesday, January 26, 2016

History: The Year is 1717

I've uploaded year 1717 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

It Is the Snowstorm of the Century! -- Recent volcanic activity has produced a series of massive snow storms, making the Blizzard of 2016 seem like a light dusting.

Lady Mary Introduces Smallpox Inoculation -- While staying in Istanbul, Lady Mary witnesses small-pox inoculation and introduces the practice to England. It takes a very long time to gain acceptance.

It Is the Snowstorm of the Century!

Last December, New England was buried under 5 feet of snow. It isn't unusually cold this January but from around February 18th to March 9th, New England is hit by a series of storms, each dumping about 5 feet of snow over the landscape. Drifts are as deep as 25 feet. Entire houses are covered over and the only indication that a house exists underneath is a thin wisp of smoke. The residents are burning their furniture because they can no longer reach their woodsheds. Boston is shut down, and church services are cancelled. Livestock losses are devastating and over 90% of the deer population will not survive to spring. This unusual series of storms is probably due to the recent volcanic activity in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. From now on, life will be measured from the time before the Great Snow of 1717 and the time after. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Blizzard of 2016 this January, dumped an unusual amount of snow over a wide area of New England, but compared to the Great Snow of 1717, it was nothing. I heard anxious claims of snow fall measurements approaching record-breaking depths. The previous record they were referring to was from the Great Blizzard of 1888 which dumped about 40 inches of snow in New York and more throughout New England. The Great Snow of 1717 was a series of Great Blizzards. I also heard complaints about stores being depleted of food supplies. That is due to people not being prepared for the normal and expected problems that occur in their region. Imagine what might have happened if the snowstorms continued? Trucks and trains would be shutdown. The food you had in your pantry would be all there was for weeks. Under the weight of so much snow, electrical lines would eventually fail, and what would people do then? Are snowstorms really such an unexpected occurrence in New England during the winter? [5]

Lady Mary Introduces Smallpox Inoculation

While living in Istanbul with her husband, Lady Mary spends a great deal of time with the local women. The houses are split into three living areas, one part for guests, a second part for men, and the third part is the living area for women. Naturally, children are raised in this area, and Lady Mary notes that in September, the women of the neighborhood gather to have their children inoculated with small-pox. A woman arrives with a small walnut shell filled with small-pox pus. A needle is used to scratch the skin of a child and introduce some of the pus to the wound. Several scratches are made on the skin. Thereafter the children are immune from this deadly disease. Lady Mary is amazed. Her own brother had died from small-pox a few years ago and she had recently recovered from it herself. Lady Mary will write to her friend, Sarah, and suggest that England would benefit from this life-saving practice. Unfortunately, when Lady Mary returns to England, the medical community will denigrate the practice as some sort of folk medicine. The practice will spread slowly, nevertheless. [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The idea behind inoculation is to force the immune system to react to a weak form of the virus so that one can be made immune to later infections. Certainly, small-pox live virus inoculation has its problems... not least of which is that one can get full-blown small-pox if one's immune system can't fight off the virus in time. Some people noticed that milkmaids didn't have much of a problem fighting off small-pox and they gained a reputation for being healthy and clear-skinned. (Small-pox tends to leave ugly scars on the skin.) A dairyman wondered if cowpox was similar to smallpox. He took some pus from a lesion on the udder of a cow infected with cowpox and scratched the skin of his wife and children. His wife got a high fever but his children fought off the infection easily. Thereafter, as each small-pox epidemic swept through his region, his family remained pox-free. Cowpox was similar enough to small-pox that it provided immunity for both. The dairyman's cure was ignored, but a doctor named Jenner tried the same thing and insisted that he was correct. He called the procedure "vaccination", after the Latin word "vacca," meaning cow. [9]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1717, Wikipedia.

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