A Brooklyn anti-spitting ad to bring back today

Public health messaging doesn’t get more straightforward than this ad, which in plain language told the people of Brooklyn to stop “careless” spitting. (Is there any other kind?)

The Brooklyn Tuberculosis Committee put out the ad, probably in the 1910s. Is it time to bring back this message and add “coronavirus” to the list of diseases that can be spread by spit?

The ad was part of a 2011 Ephemeral New York post on the anti-spitting law passed in New York in 1896, which called for a $500 fine for anyone caught hocking a loogie in public. The aim of the law was to reduce rates of illnesses transmitted by respiratory fluids, many of which were at epidemic levels in poor neighborhoods and often fatal…not unlike the disease New York is trying to get under control in 2020.

[Ad courtesy of J. Warren]

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7 Responses to “A Brooklyn anti-spitting ad to bring back today”

  1. Kenny Says:

    Ephemeralnewyork = a Rolodex of appropriate topical observations!
    Behind the Puck Building there is a similar but more graphic notice … https://ibb.co/fG0xt2s

  2. Bill Wolfe Says:

    What is “la grippe”? I’ve heard that term, but don’t know what it is. It sounds like the nickname of a French wrestler.

  3. mitzanna Says:

    Influenza. From French.

  4. Kevin Says:

    Definition: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/grippe

  5. Bill Wolfe Says:

    Thanks to you both!

  6. How NYC taught school during a lethal outbreak | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] 1940s. In the 1900s and 1910s, treatment meant fresh air and sunlight. Prevention efforts included public health campaigns against spitting and building apartments and hospitals that allowed for better ventilation and […]

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