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Primary Sources - Workshop in American History Disease and Historyhomesitemap
Introduction -Link Before You Watch Lectures and Activities - Link Classroom and Applications - Link

Workshop 7
Before You Watch


Before viewing "Disease and History," read and view the following materials. They represent a selection made by the professor based on the readings available to the onscreen teachers. For additional primary source readings, go to Resources.
Documents | Images | A Biography of America Videos

  Primary Sources: Documents

(Click here for information on using primary source documents)

 

image of a generic historical documentTyphoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Health, Judith Walzer Leavitt, Chapter 3, "A Menace to the Community," Law and the Limits of Liberty

This chapter gives a legal perspective to the case of Mary Mallon (a.k.a. "Typhoid Mary"), a known typhoid carrier, based on historical research and conclusions gathered by the author.


image of a generic historical documentThe Work of a Chronic Typhoid Germ Distributor, George A. Soper, Ph.D.

This paper describes George Soper's investigation of an outbreak of typhoid that he attributed to Mary Mallon.


image of a generic historical documentTyphoid Bacilli Carriers, William H. Park, M.D.

A paper written by William H. Park, the physician who directed the bacteriological laboratory at the New York City Department of Health, discusses typhoid carriers at a meeting of the American Medical Association.



  Primary Sources: Images

(Click here for information on using images)

 

Thumbnail image of an Immunization CertificateImmunization Certificate

Health certificates, like this one from the U.S. Public Health Service, were issued to children traveling during the 1916 infantile paralysis epidemic. As the disease spread throughout America's cities, the certificates were an attempt to quell public hysteria over infected children moving from place to place. In New York City alone, more than 68,000 certificates had been issued by the end of the epidemic. The certificates reinforced the popular belief that contagious diseases were linked to particular locations.
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Thumbnail image of an infant sitting in a windowInfantile Paralysis Placard Photograph

From 1900 to 1920, infantile paralysis was considered a disease of the nation's poorest children, festering in dirty, immigrant-filled slums. This photo forces viewers to confront the reality of infantile paralysis and the lives it touched. To the left of the mother and child, a placard pronounces in bold letters, "Infantile Paralysis ... KEEP OFF THIS STREET." Placards were typically pasted on tenements and multi-family dwellings by the health department to enforce quarantine rules, a measure that spoke to the growing power and concern of the health department over the lives of infected families. In cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Newark, placards written in Italian, Yiddish, and Slavic languages warned residents about the connections between disease and unsanitary living.
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Thumbnail image of a newspaper cartoonBureau of Public Health Poster

In 1915, the Bureau of Public Health Education was established in New York City. With its pamphlets, posters, lectures, and slides, the Bureau, convinced that polio was borne in germ-laden settings, set out to educate the city's poor, especially mothers, and gave homemakers specific ways to keep their homes and children clean.
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  A Biography of America: Video Series (optional)

(Click here for information on using A Biography of America)

 

image of a starProgram 15: The New City (26:46)

Messy vitality clashes with orderly growth in Chicago, a new world in the making -- featuring Hull House, the World's Columbian Exposition, a new female workforce, the skyscraper, and the department store. (This video will also be viewed in Workshop 5 -- "Cans, Coals, and Corporations: The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.")
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