INAUGURAL ADDRESS 67
not know how often in these days she is obliged to tear herself unwillingly from the bedside of her sick to go to her work ? Competition is great, and her absence from her post threatens the tenure of the position from which she draws the means of support. To be able to leave the sick one in a " house-infirmary," to which she may have access any free moments she may have, and where she is at liberty to watch during the night, would be an evident advantage to such a woman.
And how great would be the progress made in the matter of family hygiene, in all that relates to isolation and disinfection! Who does not know the difficulties of a poor family when one child is ill of some contagious disease, and should be isolated from the others ? Often such a family may have no kindred or friends in the city to whom the other children may be sent.
Much more distant, but not impossible, is the communal kitchen, where the dinner ordered in the morning is sent at the proper time, by means of a dumb-waiter, to the family dining-room. Indeed, this has been successfully tried in America. Such a reform would be of the greatest advantage to those families of the middle-class who must confide their health and the pleasures of the table to the hands of an ignorant servant who ruins the food. At present, the only alternative in such cases is to go outside the home to some cafe where a cheap table d'hote may be had.
Indeed, the transformation of the house must compensate for the loss in the family of the presence of the woman who has become a social wage-earner.
In this way the house will become a centre, drawing unto itself all those good things which have hitherto been lacking: schools, public baths, hospitals, etc.