last 7 days
last 30 days
older than 30 days

Rulon-Miller Books

method-draw-image (23)

Modes of infection and prevention

Peter, W. W., editor.] 19 color broadside posters, 31" x 21" each, 16 of them boldly illustrated, dampstaining to the right edges and some shallow chipping, but still bright and displayable. The illustrations show a variety of ways that disease is transmitted in daily life, in 8 categories, from physical contact, air, water, pests, and so on. Posters such as these were used throughout China in the 1920s as part as a public awareness campaign to educate the Chinese population on modern medical practices. Initially material produced for his traveling exhibits showed little concern for adapting to Chinese cultural norms and were illustrated with images of western domestic life, but eventually this changed, and this collection shows a much more firm understanding of Chinese lifestyle, displaying common daily practices, such as family meals, bathing children and washing clothes, that might expose one to disease. Following the images is a list of preventative measures from good hygiene to quarantine. The public health exhibits of the 1920s were driven primarily by the missionary W. W. Peter, who travelled throughout China setting up what amounted to educational side shows for the local people, often at the request of the municipality. The popularity of such events even expanded beyond China, and there is record of Peter bringing a similar collection of 41 posters to an exhibition in Siam. Although attendance and participation was often high, the exhibits failed to have a significant impact in improving health conditions, mainly because the changes they encouraged were unreasonable for a population that was still living a subsistence-level lifestyle. For more on Peter's work and the images produced during his campaign, see Liping Wu's chapter in Imagining Illness: Public Health and Visual Culture.