The hygiene palace is in the form of a Roman thermal bath. Three large arcades, decorated with claustras, give access.
As soon as you enter, you are attracted by a reproduction of the old tower of the Madeleine hospital for foundlings. Nothing is missing, not even the unfortunate little being who has just been deposited there and who will disappear when the bell is rung. Nearby we see a real exhibition of babies, with the way they are raised.
A very curious collection of trunks shows the progress made since the time when children were tied up like mummies, forbidding them any movement of the arms and legs. At the same time as the tricks, there was the industry of the leaders, who, travelling through the countryside, collected children who wanted to be abandoned and procured infants. These poor creatures were carried off like poultry in baskets, hoods, boxes, or even simple bissacs, of which we see sad samples here.
Further on are cradles of all shapes and countries; then the various ways of making small children walk by means of walkers, slides. It is an improvement in the fate of those we see, still swaddled, hanging on a nail or stuffed in a bag, hanging on the wall. Now the little ones will be able to wriggle and wriggle at their ease, in the wheeled carts that allow them to come and go without falling.
But the child, now a man, must keep his body healthy and vigorous. One of the best ways of achieving this goal is not to neglect hygiene and cleanliness. We know how much importance the ancients gave to this indispensable aspect of life and with what comfortable luxury their baths were installed. Here, we are shown all the modern devices intended to spread the benefits of hydrotherapy, well understood and understood.
The hygiene of this small, indispensable and secluded room of our flats is carefully studied, and there is a series of funnel-shaped basins, resplendent, above which is spread this revealing inscription: "Sanitary appliances. Tout à l'égout installation.
The filters of any system make an equally interesting collection, especially now that it has been shown that microbes enter mainly through water, and that it is through water that the most terrible epidemic diseases are spread.
In spite of all possible precautions, poor humanity is and will remain prone to disease and infirmity, and it is a question of relieving it and preventing the evil from claiming too many victims.
Here are several drawings and models of perfected hospitals which, again, testify to the increasing efforts of men of science to improve a very delicate situation. The studies and observations made up to now have shown the many disadvantages of the old hospices, congestion, lack of ventilation, aeration and orientation, construction defects, etc.
Among the models of hospitals that come closest to perfection is that of Montpellier, built by M. Tollet. It is a suburban establishment, containing 620 beds and having cost two million and a quarter, that is to say 3,640 fr. per bed, which makes it the least expensive of the French and foreign hospitals. In Paris, the Hôtel-Dieu cost 40,000 fr. per bed, and Lariboisière, 20,000; the Galliera Hospital, in Genoa, 16,000 fr; and the John Hopkins, in Baltimore, 20,000.
An annex to the Palais de l'Hygiène is entirely devoted to the exhibition of Messrs. Geneste and Herscher, two engineers who have made more than one step forward in the field of heating, ventilation and sanitation. We can see apparatus for the disinfection of hospitals, barracks, schools, etc., and their installations, so remarkable from the point of view of heating and ventilation, of the new Sorbonne, the post office, the Nanterre prison, the Janson de Sailly high school, the Geneva and Nice theatres, the Banque de France, etc. And that's not all: Messrs Geneste and Herscher have also made invaluable improvements to field ovens in wartime, both in terms of the speed and quality of the bread baked for our soldiers.
© L'Exposition Universelle de 1889 - Brincourt - 1889