Popular Science's first reference to the April 1912 Titanic disaster was not until October, and then the icy tragedy earned only a passing reference. Leonard Hill, M.B., F.R.S., wrote nearly 100 years ago that a sedentary, indoor lifestyle was making Americans weak, sickly and impotent.
The passengers of the Titanic survived hours in the icy sea, soaking wet and wearing only thin clothing, Hill says. So why are namby-pamby city dwellers unable to handle even minor discomforts? "The conditions of great cities tend to confine the worker in the office all day," resulting in a serious loss of toughness, "not because of the cold but because of our excessive precautions to preserve ourselves from cold." Just four months after it sank, the Titanic was already a metaphor for the perils of industrialization.
Read the full story in Stuffy Rooms