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September 2019

Can Bull Med Hist. 1995 ; 12(2): 259-87.

Promoting good health in the age of reform: the medical publications of Henry H. Porter of Philadelphia, 1829-32.

Horrocks TA.

Francis Clark Wood Institute for the History of Medicine, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, PA 19103.

In the early 1830s, the Philadelphia publisher Henry H. Porter rapidly published five journals, six books, and an almanac, works having a particular emphasis on health and personal hygiene. Porter's health publications linked the traditional message about the importance of personal hygiene to health to the messages conveyed by the flourishing American reform movements at the time, and his Journal of Health was among the first American medically oriented periodicals published for the layperson. Yet Porter did not survive in the intensely competitive and financially unstable book trade. This study examines Porter's health publications, attempting to explain why he chose to publish what he did, the message(s) his works contained, the audience(s) he tried to reach, and the failure of his business.


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