There’s nothing like turn of the (last) century humor publications. They’re dense with amazingly drawn cartoons as well as poetry…such a lost art. In the FDA’s Update magazine, Dr Suzanne White Junod covers the “Microbe Mania”, which consumed the US in the wake of discoveries by such luminaries as Pasteur that microbes: 1) exist all over, and 2) cause diseases.
Where today can you find such great content as
Disregard my advice if you dare
And your daring you’re certain to rue;
You must sterilize all that you wear
Or look at, or taste of, or chew.
The Bacillus don’t stop to ask “Why?”
And the deadly Spirillum is coiled.
Micrococci are hanging around too.
So water must always be boiled!
All of the excerpts come from early-1900s issues of Puck. Seeing all of these old cartoons brings back memories of AP History, where a political cartoon could (rightly) be used as the centerpiece of a frantically scrawled essay.
The article is relatively lean in its own content, but serves up a bounty of references for anyone interested in the interaction of science, public health, business and politics of a bygone era (a saying about history repeating itself comes to mind).
More from the FDA: html version (no graphics) / pdf version (with graphics)
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