Venereal Disease Visual History Archive

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This film begins with the story of a young Italian-American couple whose baby is stillborn due to syphilis. It also tells the story of a young man who contracts the illness from a brothel. The film explains the effects of syphilis, emphasizes the…

This sexual education silent film addresses exercise and physical health, hygiene, hormones, anatomy, procreation, menstruation, and venereal disease. (Click on the link below to download from OPA.)

"Children! They are the only real wealth that the nation possesses. Will any one contend that every child's heritage should not be a healthy mind and body? Yet hundreds of thousands of them are denied this heritage, just as hundreds of thousands of…

"Guard them against syphilis, Get a blood test today"

This poster advises audiences to get a blood test. It features an image of an African American mother and her baby.

Two older men sit having a drink. One says, "My boy was wounded in the African landing." The other man, looking disappointed, replies, "Mine was wounded in this country by a street walker."

This poster wards servicemen to "avoid VD" so they can go home "clean" to their families.

This poster advises mothers to be tested for syphilis as soon as they know they are pregnant.

"You Can Have A Healthy Baby : Ask your Doctor to give you a Careful Physical Examination including Blood Test as soon as you know a Baby is Coming."

This poster uses a graphic picture of a child with congenital syphilis to warn that men's decisions to have premarital sex can have drastic effects for their future children.

"A man may transmit syphilis to his children. His children's children…

This poster features a photograph of young boys and explains that they have been blinded due to gonorrhea.

"These boys are blind because their mothers had gonorrhea, in most cases contracted from the father. Most of the blindness in children is…

This poster advises young men to treat young women well. It is part of the "Keeping Fit" poster series.

"Treat every girl as you would like to have another man or boy treat your sister, girl friend, or sweetheart."

This poster urges men to stay abstinent until marriage, keeping in mind their future wife. It is part of the "Keeping Fit" poster series.

"Somewhere the girl who may become your wife is keeping pure. Will you take to her a life equally clean?"

This poster describes the effects of gonorrhea.

"This girl may become an invalid for life if she marries a man who has had gonorrhea not entirely cured. Gonorrhea causes: 1. Many surgical operations upon women; 2. Much invalidism among innocent…

This poster warns viewers that a man may transmit venereal disease to his wife and children. It is part of the "Keeping Fit" poster series.

"The man who has contracted gonorrhea or syphilis may bring suffering upon the innocent. When he marries,…

This photograph shows an exhibit on public health at the 1939 New York World's Fair. It features displays on infantile paralysis (polio), tuberculosis, rickets, and other issues. There is also an iron lung displayed.

This photograph shows an exhibit about syphilis titled, "The Shadow on the Land" that appeared at the 1939 World's Fair. It features a large microscope, photographs of family and children, and a map of the United States. Fair visitors are shown…

This image juxtaposes two windows that represent society before and after life the promotion of social hygiene ideas. The "before" window reads "vulgar distortion of sex facts," "unsupervised amusements," "unsympathetic attitude of elders," and "low…

This poster associates healthy children with parents who have avoided VD. It is part of a larger poster series called "Youth and Life."

"A healthy, happy child is the greatest joy-bringer in the world : Healthy, happy children are born of fathers…

This poster discusses hormones. It is part of a larger poster series called "Youth and Life."

"The secretion of the ovaries makes the girl grow into a woman : The secretion in the testes makes the boy grow into a man : The ovaries and testes also…

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This poster explains how men may transmit gonorrhea to their family and that children can be blinded by the illness. It is part of a larger poster series called "Youth and Life."

"If the mother has gonorrhea, her child may be blinded at birth :…

This poster warns women about congenital syphilis. It is part of a larger poster series called "Youth and Life."

"Every child has a right to be well-born : If the father or the mother has syphilis, the child may be born or defective"
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