Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Good Fourth Of July Advice

As republished in this morning's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

This advice, sponsored by Myer Bros. Drug Co., was published on July 4, 1911, by the Post-Dispatch:

Fourth of July accidents are just as certain to come as is that day on the calendar. The rule of reason applies in many of our acts of life, but when it is a matter of celebrating the day of independence, both old and young seem to lose the power of exercising ordinary caution. The following rules in the treatment of blank cartridge or puncture wounds have been given wide circulation among physicians. While pharmacists are not skilled as surgeons, still we feel justified in publishing these rules as a matter of public education so that our readers will understand the necessity for prompt and heroic treatment. Of course, the very first thing to do is to place the patient in the hands of a competent physician. To prevent lockjaw:

  1. Freely incise every wound
  2. Carefully and thoroughly remove from the wound every particle of foreign matter.
  3. Cauterize the wound thoroughly with a 25 per cent solution of phenol (carbolic acid).
  4. Apply a loose wet boric acid pack.
  5. Inject subcutaneously 1500 units of (tetanus antitoxin) serum.
  6. In no case should the wound be closed. It should be allowed to heal by granulation. The dressing and packing should be removed every day.

Among the things that the American people particularly dislike are “don’t,” but that is no reason why we should not study them and give timely “dont’s” prominence as the Fourth of July celebration approaches:

  • Don’t think because it didn’t go off right away there’s no fire there.
  • Don’t hold your eye over it, to see why it didn’t go off.
  • Don’t pick it up right away, if it didn’t go off.
  • Don’t see how long you can hold if before it goes off.
  • Don’t fail before lighting it to pick the place to throw it.
  • Don’t throw it at a horse.
Five years ago today: Fireworks On The Fourth


  1. The first six could be faster than an ER.

  2. Well, if it is to prevent lockjaw, by all means, incise away!

  3. It is interesting following medicine from back in the day!

    1. I agree. Some of the information is still current, but the rest can be pretty humorous.

  4. I still cut open a cat bite quickly, so it won't infect. Have always done that. So far so good. I've never leaned over to peer at a firecracker dud yet either, to see why its not firing off. LOL! Happy 4th!

    1. I'm curious as to how large of a cut you make, and then what you treat the cut with.

  5. Don't throw it at a horse, always good advice.

  6. The above anonymous comment "don't throw it at a horse" was from me. I neglected to fill in my name and website so it came up as anonymous.