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The Sunday telegram. [volume] (Clarksburg, W. Va.) 1914-1927, February 06, 1916, THIRD SECTION, Image 30

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85059732/1916-02-06/ed-1/seq-30/

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Josephine ^
Bartlett, ^mm
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By L. deB. Handley
i 10 most or as the summer Is the
t| season for swimming and
aquatic activities, but not tc
the fair members of the National
Women's Life Saving League. Er
perience has taught them that theli
self-imposed task of spreadlngknowl*
edge of the art of natation, and par
tlcularly the branch of it which in
| eludes self-protection and the rescue
of others from drowning, is far more
successfully performed In quiet in
door pools than amid the noise one
confusion of a crowded bathlnf
beach. So It Is not until late fal
that they start their annual cam
More than 1600 strong, this year
they are taking advantage of the
winter months to carry on the good
work. In their own private natatorl
urns; In club pools; In the many mu
nlclpal baths now open to the pub
11c; wherever. In fact, women and
girls congregate for Indoor bathing
the league mermaids are gcnerallj
First Water P
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i eacnt
KBr-i =*?*;,?. [i r*fy ' vn..
$ :Z ' ! mmM
to bo found, ready to oncourngo tbo I
study of watermanship and offer free l
: tuition to all. r
Seldom, In hor effort toward o
worthy achievement, has woman cm- s
brncod a more noble cause. By cur- ?
tailing more and more the appalling u
annual death list by drowning the f
league renders Invaluable service to 1)
humanity. ?
Meeting of the Mermaidt.
It was In 190S that a few energetic
young women of New York and c
Brooklyn first conceived the Idea of t
olo Team of the National Women's
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THE 31
Vigorous Camp<
and He
Feminine Swi
Y* i
aign of the Nationc
)W Its Plans for A
mmers Are Being
ng Rescue and Dt
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Practice in the "Correct Way to
andlng together for the laudablo e
urposc of arousing interest In swim- a
ting and life saving among their y
nn sex. Their earliest step was to F
eelt affiliation with the United p
tates Volnnteor Life Saving Corps, p
rglng the formation of an auxiliary tl
ir women. But the officers of that s
ody, while thoroughly in sympathy
Ith thn nronoscd plan, expressed s'
lemselves unable at the time to sec- f
nd It. I
Disappointed, yet not the lenst rtla- u
ouraged, the fair applicants decided o
> go ahead unassisted and proceed- t
Life Saving League, New York D
' ' 1M SET ... Sag
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?v^lflmM3&^^^Ktik ' Jfi^l
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;v.>. *? _ 'jvy '
v >;>.?* fj
il Women's Life S
fultiplying Self-Rt
Advanced in Mai
weloping Water S
Y?' i'\ > < .? ..
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M-' > i * ,
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fiescue a Drowning Person."
d to form an association of tbolr
wn under the name of the National
Women's Life Saving League. Miss
Catherine F. Mehrtens was elected
rconren*, "'TOO
resident, and Miss Adeline Trapp,
le noted long-distance swimmer,
With only 20 charter members to
art operations the new league
mnd its scope very limited at first
ut not for long. By attending reglarly
the women's ilayB at the varies
city baths, offering to all comers
lelr services as Instructors, and
tii'' je^Br '^^H^HRSI
1 ^
/M4M At
aving League,
ny States?
.Miss Claire Telligan, Who
Holds Several Records.
making tliclr purpose generally
known, the girl propagandists soon
gained a following.
Thoy rapidly gathered recruits
thereafter, anil before a year hac
elapsed the organisation was strong
enough to seek recognition and wat
Incorporated under the laws of the
stato of New York. It Is to this day
rne oniy incorporated uuuy ? ?. ^ui?u
devoted entirely to swimming and
life raving.
Women Life Seven.
But It has grown apace since lti
birth. Branches have now been ea
tabllshed In New Jersey. Connect!
cut, Massachusetts, Rhodo Island
and California; women In othei
1915. .
flj Hkr. /*
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Practice in the Proper Methot
Drowning Person. The Reset
Under the Other's Chin and
states are preparing to Join In the
good work, and the constantly Increasing
membership has already
passed the 1500 mark.
The program originally laid out by
the organizers was: First, to encourage
women and children to
swim; second, to teach everywuere
free of charge; third, to disseminate
knowledge of life saving and first
aid to the Injured through personal
instruction and public exhibitions;
fourth, to advocate the universal
adoption of up-to-date methods of
rescue and resuscitation: .fifth,,to endeavor
to bring about the Introduction
of compulsory courses In swimming
and life saving at all schools
and colleges for girls.
This program was later added to,
however. The great Interest displayed
by girls and women in water
sports, and the appearance In the
competitive field of an undesirable
-i?a,icrcAQti?ri the advisability
eiBIUCUl, uno,
of devoting attention to this new development
An athletic department
was thereby started, Its object clearly
defined In the official bulletin, as
"To supervise athletics for women
by women, In order to raise the dignity
of outdoor sports for the sex, so
that all may participate In the
healthful exercise of competitive
pastimes without being subjected to
the embarrassing conditions which
frequently arise when men only are
In charge of arrangements."
Improving the Sport.
The heads of the athletic department
began by forming a swimming
team, gave It a competent coach In
the person of Lionel Mackenzie, in*"
I * fne
structorat City College, anmibcu .?.
frequent water carnivals in the homo
pool, then took steps to assume control
of nquatlcs for women, with the
avowed purpose of eliminating the
undesirable element, drawing a
sharp line between amateurs and
professionals, standardizing competition,and
placing the sport on a sound
Last summer there was every Indication
that the league authorities
would attain their object, for most
promoters of meets gladly consented
to bavo their fixtures run off under
the able supervision of the lifo saving
In the fall, however, the Amateur
Athletic Union granted registration
to women swimmers and completely
vpset the maturing plans. But tho
efforts of the league did not go to
waste. Its president, Miss Mehrtens,
was selocted by the union 10 servo
as representative of her sex on the
council board, so she is able, indirectly,
to carry on the good work.
Meanwhile, the beneficial Influence
of the leaguo Is being felt from ccnst
to coast Many of Its branches have
pools of their own, where members
may practise and give Instruction,
while league representatives also
frequent the public baths and teach
unaffiliated women and children.
, Thousands upon thousands thus
( profit by the expert schooling so wlliineiv
and freely Disced at their dia
I Long LiU of Reieuea.
J And who may count the hundreds
i of lives yearly saved thereby? A
' long Hit of rescues stands to the
i credit ot the fair life savers, but far
' greater, no doubt, Is the number of
girls and women who were able to
esr ape death through their own efi
forts, thanks to the Instruction re
celved at tho hands of the volunteer
I Nor should the value of the ath'
letlc department be underestimated.
?] ''"''"''1''' V,V|V,Y,Y,Y,V'
i of Breaking the Hold of a n
ter Forces One Hand Upward
Vi~orously Lifts One Knee. ,fl
The long distance races held enco'jr- II
use the. development of endurance. W
so necessary in case of accident; jU
other sports make for better, water- II
raanship; and the rescue contests,
featured at nearly every meet, offer II
an incentive to acquire proficiency in
life 'saving and turn into recreation H
what might otherwise prove tedious
and uninteresting drudgery.
These rescue races arc practical III
and.value tests, too, as was aptly
demonstrated in the league chant- If
pionships a few weeks ago. One or II
the contestants, Miss Josephine Bartlett.
was sel/.ed with severe cramps Jt
while carrying her putative victim to
safety, but she had learned .what lo
do under the circumstances and sho
held on gamely until the finish line
was reached. Then she fainted. Rest
assured that if that plucky'girl had Wf.
been performing an ' actual rescue, ) M
tho same grit, tho same knowledge jLJmi
would havo enabled her to land tho
person in danger before collapsing.
Amazing Skill.
It is n revelation to attend one ot U
(ho league water carnivals and nolo
the amazing skill of the contestants. ill
Not a starter In the swimming races
but displays In enviable good font
the latest types uf stroke; not a competitor
In the life saving events but
exhibits ability worthy of a profes- J
slonal life guard. V
The most astonishing sight, though, <
is a water polo mstcli between two
of the several league teams.
Scpecial aptitude Is require!
properly to hnndlo the big, slippery, !
leather ball, for the rules ordain that
it shall only be touched with one
hand at a time, and endurance quits
beyond the average is needed to last
out tho two long periods of practically
continuous sprinting. Indeed,
it is not unusual to see the strongest
men swimmers show signs of exhaustion
before time is called In an
important game. ,
Yet these girls juggle the awkward
ball with accuracy, play hard '
and fast from start to finish, then
leave the water fresh and smiling
always ready for more.
And this remarkable stamina and
watermanship developed by constant
participation in aquatic sports fits
mem spienuuuy for self-protection
and life saving. tt
Cool in Danger.
Nine of the league mermaids com' 11
pcted last September In a five-mile
swim for women In which the field
was started through an error againit
a rushing four-mile tide. For nearly fl
one and one-half hours the plucky II
girls fought t?ut current tooth ami
nail before It was decided to call oU A8
the race and not one of them showed
a sign of fatigue when the referee,
after much argument, persuaded
them to abandon the contest. No H
fear that such powerful swlmmen
would be unable to take care ot
themselves In case of accident. H
It is the same when it comes to
succoring those In danger. The glrli H
are so well trained for the work that
they consider the rescue of a drown- wM
ing person a mere Incident In their
uauy lives, naruiy wormy ui men- g
One of them expressed the attt JH
tude of the majority last summer, (
after helping ashore through very H
rough water an exhausted swimmer.
The rescue was an unusually dim- H
cult and brave one; but when thou
who witnessed it tried to make tho
young heroine apply for a life savins <B
medal she laughed at them. m
"Nonsense," she said, "the poor
fellow hadn't enough strength let!
even to struggle; a child could halt fl

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