This age-old health advice is still quite relevant in 2012

“According to medical specialists, being smartly dressed is a mental stimulant and can even ward off sickness.”

That note appeared in a New York newspaper in 1909.

And from an 1886 edition of a Pennsylvania newspaper: “The death of Mr. Maas, the well-known tenor, calls attention to the peril of sleeping in a damp bed.”

And from a Kentucky paper, 1911: “New York’s foremost medical men go so far as to say that if every adult walked five miles a day, doctors would be put out of work.”

These three antique news items also appeared on twitter, in a twitter feed known as Tweets of Old (

R.L. Ripples — a writer and researcher — posts several tweets every day. Each one contains a line transcribed from actual newspapers or digital scans of newspapers in online archives.

I picked out the three above because they’re health-related. But there are all kinds of quotes on a wide range of topics, such as the Galveston Sand Crabs baseball team (Texas, 1895), home dentistry (Tennessee, 1904), and beer made from Sacramento River water (California, 1886).

I’ll finish with one more health warning: “Frank Cook, of Vernon, died of blood poisoning caused by smoking cigarettes.” (Texas, 1895)

Don’t smoke, get daily exercise, and make sure your bed is dry. Old advice, but all good.

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