Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vintage Venereal: World War II Era

Two themes emerge from this collection of posters warning about venereal diseases (now called sexually transmitted infections). One, it's unpatriotic to catch one and two, women are the carriers - men are the victims.
Contrast these images with posters from the WPA era. I found only one poster that directly targeted women by implying returning soldiers could give them syphilis. Another urges soldiers to maintain a "clean America," which may mean men should get treated before passing on their STIs to the women at home. But most of these posters place the blame squarely on women, and are speaking directly to men, as if only men can suffer from these infections. If STIs are unpatriotic, then women, especially prostitutes must be unpatriotic, unAmerican. Another thing to note: all the images are of white people (well, and skeletons). There may have been posters with images of black Americans, but I couldn't find any.

This poster was painted by Salvador Dali in 1942. He just wanted to help the war effort. Notice the skull? Women equal death.

Even Donald Duck was enlisted in the misogyny!

This is the only poster I found that is speaking directly to women.

Just a few more images of venereal disease personified as a woman. Not from the 1940's.

If anyone knows of anymore great vintage STI posters, please post a link in the comments.

Vintage Venereal: WPA Era

As I looked through vintage public health posters for this post, I realized that campaigns against venereal disease changed dramatically from the 1930s to the 1940s. On some of these posters you can see they were created by the WPA, which means they are probably from the 1930's. Others I can't verify, but they have a similar theme: get tested and treated for yourself, your family, your job, your future. There are some posters which actually reference the potential for syphilis to harm your children. There is even one poster which acknowledges that wives are at risk within marriage. Look at the next post on World War II era posters and see the difference a war makes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Dixie Brewery

The Dixie Brewing Company was founded in 1907. In 2005 the building suffered flooding damage from Hurricane Katrina and was looted, most equipment stolen. Dixie Beer is now brewed somewhere in Wisconsin. The building is just one block from where I work. It is now a fairly sketchy neighborhood.