Venereal Disease Visual History Archive

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These photographs show visitors to the World's Fair taking a quiz about syphilis and gonorrhea conducted by the ASHA.

This comic features two sailors. One picks up women all around the world and ends up sick. The other ignores other women and returns home to his sweetheart.

In this comic a sailor contracts VD from a pick-up, uses quack medicine to try and cure the illness, and then is sick in the midst of battle. Later his fellow sailors chastise him and tell him to see the medical officer.

In this comic strip, sailors are eager to make it to land so they can meet some women. One sailor picks up a woman in the park at night but flees later when he sees her in the light and she is unattractive. As the sailor runs away, another quips that…

This poster features a sailor in a dunce cap writing lines on the board as punishment for not going to the prophylaxis station.

In this comic strip one sailor is interested in picking up a woman at a cafe. His friends warn him that you can catch venereal disease from pick-ups. One of the sailors ends up in the VD ward after leaving with the woman.

In this comic strip, two sailors walk the streets at night. One suggests they check out a brothel. The other declines, explaining that he previously contracted VD that way.

"Pick-ups : 'Good Time' Girls : Prostitutes : Spread Syphilis and Gonorrhea : You can't beat the Axis if you get VD."

This cartoon presents prostitutes as a threat to the health of servicemen and the war effort. The female figure is labeled "venereal carrier."

This poster urges servicemen to avoid prostitutes because they spread VD.

This poster shows a giraffe dressed in a sailor uniform heading towards a prophylaxis ("Pro") station.

"Avoid Venereal Disease."

Three figures, a soldier, a sailor, and a pilot, salute a woman and child sitting outside a suburban home. A US flag flies in front of the house. The text advises servicemen to avoid venereal disease with their family and…

This cartoon features a woman labeled "venereal disease" holding a letter. Photos of three different men are tacked on the wall behind her.

"but...YOU may be one of the failures!"

This poster conveys that penicillin is an effective treatment for gonorrhea but warns that it does not work in all cases.
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