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Arequipa Sanatorium by Lynn Downey
As San Francisco recovered from the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906, dust and ash filled the city’s stuffy factories, stores, and classrooms. Dr. Philip King Brown noticed rising tuberculosis rates among the women who worked there, and he knew there were few places where they could get affordable treatment. In 1911, with the help of wealthy society women and his wife, Helen, a protégé of philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst, Brown opened the Arequipa Sanatorium in Marin County. Together, Brown and his all-female staff gave new life to hundreds of working-class women suffering from tuberculosis in early-twentieth-century California. Until streptomycin was discovered in the 1940s, tubercular patients had few treatment options other than to take a rest cure at a sanatorium and endure its painful medical interventions. For the working class and minorities, especially women, the options were even fewer. Unlike most other medical facilities of the time, Arequipa treated primarily working-class women and provided the same treatment to all, including Asian American and African American women, despite the virulent racism of the time. Author Lynn Downey’s own grandmother was given a terminal tuberculosis diagnosis in 1927, but after treatment at Arequipa, she lived to be 102 years old. Arequipa gave female doctors a place to practice, female nurses and social workers a place to train, and white society women a noble philanthropic mission. Although Arequipa was founded by a male doctor and later administered by his son, the sanatorium’s mission was truly about the women who worked and recovered there, and it was they who kept it going. Based on sanatorium records Downey herself helped to preserve and interviews she conducted with former patients and others associated with Arequipa, Downey tells a vivid story of the sanatorium and its cure that Brown and his talented team of Progressive women made available and possible for hundreds of working-class patients.
Fired By Ideals by Suzanne Baizerman
The Arts and Crafts Movement exerted a profound influence on early-twentieth-century America, not only in the applied and decorative arts but also in the area of social reform. Standing at this intersection of art and reform were American art potteries that taught ceramics skills to working-class women as a means of securing income, restoring health, and/or uplifting the spirit. Like its better known and more successful predecessors -- the Marblehead Pottery in Massachusetts, the Newcomb Pottery in New Orleans, and the Paul Revere Pottery in Boston (home of the "Saturday Evening Girls") -- the Arequipa Pottery in Fairfax, California, had fascinating origins, and it produced distinctive wares that today are prized by collectors. Fired by Ideals: Arequipa Pottery and the Arts & Crafts Movement tells the story of the Arequipa Sanatorium and Pottery, whose roots lie in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The dust and smoke from the disaster prompted an outbreak of tuberculosis, which afflicted "working girls" in particular. In 1911, a progressive physician, Dr. Philip King Brown, founded a treatment center in rural Marin County, north of San Francisco, where these women could get the rest and medical care they needed, as well as engage in a therapeutic and marketable pursuit: the manufacture of art pottery. In addition to its engaging historical narrative supported by dozens of vintage photographs, the book employs technical illustrations and beautiful full-color reproductions to examine the production process at Arequipa and the types of pottery made there.