Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Book of Accidents

In 1831, author S. Babcock published a helpful guide to the "accidents to which children, from their inexperience or carelessness, are liable." He gave his work what may be the best title in the history of publishing: The Book of Accidents.

The book warned children not to cross streets, climb trees, or tease dogs. There were even handy pictures, in case anyone didn't quite grasp the dangers of playing with fire or throwing stones.

A sample passage: "Never climb trees for any purpose whatsoever. The boughs often break, or boys miss their hold, when down they come and often break their bones or necks." (So I guess it's okay for girls to climb trees.)

The entire book can be found here. Read it immediately--before it's too late!

Via Room26 Cabinet of Curiosities.








22 Comments:

Anonymous phoenix said...

Oh my word! That book would sound like a to-do list instead of a caution guide to most of the guys I know.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous sekrit7 said...

That is so so so FUNNY!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Konakona said...

"(So I guess it's okay for girls to climb trees.)"

lol

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Girlskickbutt!!! said...

Poor kids who read that.(and listened to it) I bet they were ruined for life. Glad I could always climb trees.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Girlskickbutt!!! said...

Does anyone know the best size engine to use for a model rocket? Last time I used an E engine I nearly blew up my house.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I wonder where to get that.. XD

7:52 PM  
Blogger TadMack said...

MY favorite bit was that after the wee chickie fell down the stairs, she was this model of obedience.

Question: was she pushed?

4:05 AM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

Oh, gawd.

It's funny how the blood in the gory illustrations always falls straight down. Sry, I notice odd things.

You gotta wonder what inspired the author to write such a detailed cautionary book for children.....what was he like as a kid? ;)

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that book would make my life so boooooooring.

-liltomboyblue

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

I completely agree with Phoenix xD.

The link to the whole book doesn't work on my PC. Why oh why...??? It sounds so amusing, but alas...

11:58 AM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

LOL.
The sad part is that all those things are very likely for me.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Traveling Gnome said...

But I like playing with fire!

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

I love that title! :D I'd like to have that book ...I tried the link to the whole book or whatever and it gave me this message:
"Your query encountered the following error: Arguments are of the wrong type, are out of acceptable range, or are in conflict with one another."
D: Oh and what's with the tape stuff on the book edges?

5:54 PM  
Anonymous phoenix said...

There is some truth to certain parts of it, but I rest my case.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

I think Ananka made a mistake in posting the link. Here it is:

http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/SetsSearchExecXC.asp?srchtype=ITEM

(copy and paste from the lines above and below it, or it won't work)

7:47 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

Oops. I'm not sure what happened, but it appears that the link only works after you get there from the other link.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author must have had an interesting chiledhood...
~Macy

9:25 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

LOL, I agree with Macy.
He probably had either very...*active*...children, or the type that sit around all day crocheting toilet paper roll holders. xD
Or was young, unmarried, and very naive when he wrote the book.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Irregular Kiki said...

It says 'Never climb trees for any purpose whatever'. Isn't it meant to be whatsoever?

I've fallen down the stairs 2 or 3 times and ended up with tears.
I always used to fall over.
I climb the roof of my house. I love climbing but I've never tried climbing a tree... I climb fences a lot.
Ok, girls! Let's go tree climbing. yay!

8:15 AM  
Blogger Macy said...

Or, Jin Ai, he could have been one of those horrifically accident-prone children...I know one of those. I am always amazed at the fact that he is at school every Monday morning. Its really funny to listen to his stories of his weekend exploits.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Wow...I think this book would have come in handy when I was little. One of my first memories is falling backwards down the stairs!

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Max said...

"gee whilikers, i'll never climb a tree again!" pft, yeah right... and so prejudiced against us girls... god, life would be no fun w/out accidents!!!!!!!!!!

6:25 PM  

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