Copyright. 1925, New York Tribune, Inc.

Dangerous Treatment of a Serious Subject

In a letter Fire and Water Engineering has just received from Wm. Jerome Daly, attention is rightly called to a tendency of the daily press which is often apt to result in serious consequences. We are glad to give our readers Mr. Daly’s letter in full:

To the Editor:

This is the sort of cartoon that should be discouraged. It defeats one of the very missions the National Board of Fire Underwriters is conducting against such fires. Like the motion pictures, newspaper cartoons such as this one are frequently the source of suggestion to children to do the very thing as depicted in jest.

If I had my way and was armed with your channel of publicity, I would reproduce this and write an accompanying editorial that would put the New York Tribune or any other newspaper on the right track.

Newspapers frequently cause epidemics. Some years ago, a banker in Georgia accidentally swallowed a bichloride of mercury tablet in mistake for aspirin. His unfortunate error was given such wide publicity that hundreds upon hundreds of persons who were suicide-bent at that time immediately resorted to the bichloride of mercury method of self-destruction. I remember very well because I was working for the Evening Telegram at the time when we had a run for over six months of suicides in the Bronx with bichloride of mercury.

It would not surprise me if some feeble or weak-minded boy not necessarily in New York, where the buildings are fireproof, but in the suburbs or the metropolitan area of this city, seeing this cartoon with September 15 approaching, would be” tempted to do the very thing which this paper so jokingly suggests to the juvenile mind.

Yours very truly, WM. JEROME DALY.

New York, August 27, 1925.

Lakewood, O., Wants Assistant Chief—Although the fire rules passed in 1919 provide for an assistant fire chief, Lakewood, Ohio, has never appointed one and Mayor Wiegand recommended to the council that such an appointment be made.

New Apparatus Housed in Reading, Pa.—The new apparatus of the Liberty Fire Company of Reading, Pa., was housed with fitting ceremonies which included a luncheon for the members with their families.

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