Spitting and other public nuisances

More general travel hints from the Baedeker’s United States, 1893:

The first requisites for the enjoyment of a tour in the United States are an absence of prejudice and a willingness to accommodate oneself to the customs of the country. If the traveller exercise a little patience, he will often find that ways which strike him as unreasonable or even disagreeable are more suitable to the environment than those of his own home would be. He should from the outset reconcile himself to the absence of deference or servility on the part of those he considers his social inferiors; but if ready himself to be courteous on a footing of equality he will seldom meet any real impoliteness. In a great many ways travelling in the United States is, to one who understands it, more comfortable than in Europe. The average Englishman will probably find the chief physical discomforts in the dirt of the citt streets, the roughness of the country roads, the winter overheating of hotels and railways cars (70-75 Fahr. being by no means unusual), and (in many places) the habit of spitting on the floor; but the Americans themselves are now keenly alive to these weak points and are doing their best to remove them.

Throughout almost the whole country travelling is now as safe as in the most civilized parts of Europe, and the carrying of arms, which is indeed forbidden in many states, is as unnecessary here as there. Those who contemplate excursions into districts remote from the highways of travel should take local advice as to their equipment.

The prices of almost all manufactured goods are much higher in the United States than in Europe; and the traveller should therefore come provided with an ample supply of all the articles of personal use he or she is likely to require, down to such small items as pins and needles, tapes and ribbons, dress ties and gloves, toilette requires, bittons, and matches (generally very poor in America). An important exception to the above rule is boots and shoes, which are excellently made in the United States and cost, if anything, rather less than in England. Cotton goods are also as cheap as in Europe.

Indoor clothing for American use should be rather thinner in texture than is usual in England, but winter wraps for outdoor use require to be much thicker. The thick woollen gowns that English ladies wear in winter would be uncomfortably warm in the ordinary winter temperature of American hotels and railway carriages; and a thin soft silk will, perhaps, be found the most comfortable travelling dress on account of its non-absorption of dust. Overshoes (‘artics’ and ‘rubbers’) are quite necessary in winter and are worn almost as much by men as by women.

Public Conveniences are not usually provided in American cities, but their place is practically supplied by the lavatories in hotels, to which passers-by resort freely. Accommodation is also furnished at railway-stations. Such public conveniences as do exist in New York and other large cities are disgracefully inadequate in number, size, and equipment.

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