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Monday, February 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Flu epidemic ‘ebbing rapidly,’ despite more deaths

Spokane school absentees were at 4,200, which was still very high, but down 183 from the day before. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
Spokane school absentees were at 4,200, which was still very high, but down 183 from the day before. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Trends in Spokane’s flu epidemic turned positive.

Only 17 new cases were reported for the day. A total of 69 people were released from quarantine.

Spokane school absentees were at 4,200, which was still very high, but down 183 from the day before. The school superintendent noted that most of those absentees weren’t sick at all. Their parents were just afraid to send them to school.

Dr. Ralph Hendricks, the city’s health officer, said the tide of the epidemic seemed to be “ebbing rapidly.” The Spokane Daily Chronicle credited “sunshine and clear weather” for the improvement.

Not all of the news was good. Four more flu deaths were reported, including two at the city’s temporary influenza hospital.

From the housework beat: A Home Bureau exhibit displayed an array of devices that promised to remove “the drudgery from housework.”

“Washing machines, sweepers, fireless cookers, dish washers and other modern tools of the kitchen appear to have solved the problem of the servant girl,” said the Chronicle.

The exhibit included “no less than a half a dozen washing machines,” which would “remove almost all need for physical exertion in connection with the family laundry.”

Among the more interesting items: a home ice-making machine.

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