Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 176

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 176

the day, whose names are familiar to all, as well as instructors in colleges and scores of teachers; and to have sent several score of men into conspicuous positions in the business and professional world.

Edward Bok has always felt that but for his own inability to secure an education, and his consequent desire for self-improvement, the realization of the need in others might not have been so strongly felt by him, and that his plan whereby thousands of others were benefited might never have been realized.

The editor’s correspondence was revealing, among other deficiencies, the wide-spread unpreparedness of the average American girl for motherhood, and her desperate ignorance when a new life was given her. On the theory that with the realization of a vital need there is always the person to meet it, Bok consulted the authorities of the Babies’ Hospital of New York, and found Doctor Emmet Holt’s house physician, Doctor Emelyn L. Coolidge. To the authorities in the world of babies, Bok’s discovery was, of course, a known and serious fact.

Doctor Coolidge proposed that the magazine create a department of questions and answers devoted to the problems of young mothers. This was done, and from the publication of the first issue the questions began to come in. Within five years the department had grown to such proportions that Doctor Coolidge proposed a plan whereby mothers might be instructed, by mail, in the rearing of babies—in their general care, their feeding, and the complete hygiene of the nursery.

Bok had already learned, in his editorial experience, carefully to weigh a woman’s instinct against a man’s

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