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Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Varieties of Medical Ephemera
Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Varieties of Medical Ephemera banner. Here Today, Here Tomorrow is written in brown lettering above Varities of Medical Ephemera written in blue letter. Addiction written in blue lettering below an image of a woman laying in a bed with two children at her side. AIDS written in blue lettering below a red AIDS ribbon Bookplates written in blue lettering below an illustration of a man leaning against a stack of books holding a rod of Asclepius in his left hand. Children written in blue lettering below a color image of a boy sitting in a chair playing doctor on a dog lying on a table while three girls look on. Medical Education written in blue lettering below an illustration of a doctor making patient rounds in a hospital with three students attending. Medicine Show written in blue lettering below a color illustration of the cover of Graphic Scenes Kickapoo Indian Life in the South and West. Public Health written in blue lettering below a diagonal half white half black illustration with a cigarette in the center surrounded by a red circle with a line through it. The bottom right black diagonal has Thank you for not smoking here written in white lettering. Tuberculosis written in blue lettering below a predominantly blue poster with white and yellow lettering. In the center is an illustration of Santa Claus holding a little girl in one arm and an oversized Christmas seal in the other hand. Buy Christmas Seals Fight Tuberculosis is in yellow lettering at the bottom. Women written in blue lettering below a black and white image of a woman standing and taking the pulse of a man sitting in a chair. In the upper left corner are the words The Lady Doctor in black lettering.

Public Health

Among the most valuable medical ephemera of all are the broadsides that were posted by municipal authorities during the Renaissance to warn of epidemics of plague, cholera and smallpox; contemporary examples echo their stringent warnings. Cardboard signs of various sizes and varied colors for mumps, meningitis, scarlet fever, diphtheria, etc. were placed in windows of residences where patients were quarantined. In some areas smaller postcards performed the same function. Booklets for March of Dimes campaigns to raise funds for research in infantile paralysis (polio is a more recent coinage) in the 1930's provided space for either dimes or bills to be inserted; such ephemera is a happy reminder that such evils have been eradicated. But other problems remain, and there is a continuous barrage of soon-to-be ephemera issuing forth from government bodies and private groups, calling attention to the hazards of smoking, excessive drinking, sexually transmitted diseases, warning signs for cancer and other public health problems.

No One is Safe from Cancer, bookmark with illustration by Arthur Szyk. The illustration is a man with a sword raised to slay the cancer monster.

No One is Safe from Cancer,
bookmark with illustration by Arthur Szyk,
New Canaan, Connecticut, 1940,
17 x 17.5 cm.

Three health cards for different types of vaccine. The top card is a cream color and is the notification that Charles Brown has recieved the Type I Sabin oral poloio vaccine. The center health card is green in color and is the notification that Charles Brown has recieved the Type II Sabin oral poloio vaccine. The bottom card is a blue color and and is the notification that Charles Brown has recieved the Type iiI Sabin oral poloio vaccine.

Academy of Medicine of Cleveland,
Sabin Oral Polio Vaccine,
3 health cards for different types of vaccine,
Cleveland, Ohio, 1962,
6.4 x 8.8 cm.


Public Health written in blue lettering below a diagonal half white half black illustration with a cigarette in the center surrounded by a red circle with a line through it. The bottom right black diagonal has Thank you for not smoking here written in white lettering.

Action on Smoking and Health,
Thank you for not smoking here,
color sticker,
Washington DC, c. 1990,
8.1 x 8.9 cm.

A black and white trade card featuring the head and shoulders illustration of Dr. Edward Jenner. Below the illustration is borner 1749, died 1823 at Berkelety, England whose discovery of vaccination made him the greatest benefactor of the whole human race.

Dr. H. M. Alexander & Co.,
Dr. Edward Jenner,
trade card,
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, c. 1880,
10 x 6.8 cm.


An orange quarantine placard with the words Anterior Poliomyelitis at the top and infantile paralysis below it. The rest of the placard is the violation fine and lines to be signed by the health officer and address.

Anterior Poliomyelitis,
quarantine placard,
n.p., c. 1915,
16.3 x 27.8 cm.

Black and white image of a scarlet fever quarantine placard, from the city of Boston Health Department.

City of Boston Health Department,
Scarlet Fever,
quarantine placard,
Boston, 1928,
8.8 x 13.8 cm.


Cover of a pamphlet published by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State Department of Health, titled Diphtheria Bulletin for School Children.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
State Department of Health,
Diphtheria Bulletin,
4 page pamphlet,
Massachusetts, c. 1920,
14.1 x 10.6 cm.

A color Syphilis and Gonorrhea poster from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health. The poster gives warning of the consquences of contracting syphilis and gonorrhea.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health,
Syphilis and Gonorrhea,
color poster,
Pennsylvania, 1942,
26.5 x 20.4 cm.


First day stamp and cancellation of the VI Congresso Internacional de Cancer, 1954. The stamp is in the center with an illustration of a crab at the bottom with defenda se do cancer in the center of the crab.

VI Congresso Internacional de Cancer,
First day stamp and cancellation,
Sao Paolo, Brazil, 1954,
17.4 x 11.3 cm.

Yellow certificate of a 1904 successful vaccination for May Zimmerman from the Department of Health of City of New York.

Department of Health of City of New York,
certificate of vaccination,
New York, 1904,
8.9 x 15 cm.


A certificate card for Mrs White dated August 31, 1916 that she was issued a bill of health by the District of Columbia Health Department.

District of Columbia Health Department,
certificate card,
Washington, 1916,
8 x 12.6 cm.

A black and white broadside from Macclesfield Union about a Small-Pox Re-Vaccination. It notes that everyone should be re-vaccinated and states that J. B. Hughes is the public vaccinator and the days and times people may go to get the re-vaccination.

Macclesfield Union,
Small Pox Re-Vaccination,
broadside,
Macclesfield, England, c. 1917,
21.8 x 14 cm.


A color fold-out post with the title Join the March of Dimes they need you! It features an illustration of a woman in a blue dress standing behind three children. A boy with crutches and a leg brace on his right leg is on the far left. The other two children are a set of twins in green dresses. The twin on the far right has crutches and leg braces on both legs.

March of Dimes,
Join the March of Dimes,
color fold-out post card,
New York, c. 1948,
12.5 x 9.6 cm.

A medical health card from the National Health Service for Arthur Read born July 20, 1910.

National Health Service, Medical Card,
health card,
Ipswich, England, 1963,
8.6 x 12.4 cm.


A medical certificate of inoculations from the New York State Department of Health for 1918.

New York State Department of Health,
Certificate of Inoculation,
certificate,
New York, 1918,
7.5 x 12.5 cm.

A color calendar page for June 1945 issued by the U.S. Army, Malaria and Epidemic Disease Control. At the bottom Don't spoil a good dream, sleep under a bed net. A soldier is lying on a cot with his bottom in the air with a mosquito heading right for it. The man is dreaming of all the good things in his life, a baby, a woman, his dog, going hunting, and playing golf.

U.S. Army, Malaria and Epidemic Disease Control,
Don't spoil a good dream,
page from a color calendar,
USA, 1945,
18.4 x 16.6 cm.