University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

The Boston Society’s Instructions for Resuscitating the Drowned

Summary of the Method of Treatment to be
used with Persons apparently dead from drowning

Boston Broadsheet

In 1786 a group of Boston citizens concerned about needless deaths by drowning decided to form a society like the Royal Humane Society in London.

The new society, soon named the Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, sponsored lectures, published research on resuscitation, encouraged new lifesaving techniques, and established awards for rescuing the drowning.  The first award was to Andrew Sloan in 1786, who saved a boy who fell through the ice on a mill pond.  Also, the society established the first lifesaving huts and rescue boats along the U.S. coast and the first swimming classes for public school children.

Further Information
Lifesaving Awards of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Humane Society
The Hull Lifesaving Museum

Details about the image:  Broadsheet, Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Library of Congress, Printed Ephemera Collection (Portfolio 82, Folder 17).

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