Sepia Saturday


Time for this week’s Sepia Saturday post and a time to take a look back in history. Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share images and posts of bygone days. This week we’re inspired to find photos based on the photo above, photos that show healthcare workers.

nurses 1918 stretcher

Source LOC, Washington, DC, 1918

Above Red Cross nurses in Washington, DC

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Internet  Archives, p 607 of Industrial Medicine and Surgery, 1919

walter reed

LOC, nurse working in Walter Reed Hospital’s Influenza Ward, 1918

can't ride trolley

LOC, Seattle, circa 1918

No mask, no streetcar. In Seattle during the Spanish flu one had to have a face mask if you wanted to get on a streetcar.


Compulsory mask – State Library of New South Wales, 1919

The Flickr Commons entry has this note:

The skull and crossbones on the mask was a joke, not part of the mask as issued, in an attempt to halt the disease. 12,000 died in Australia and between 20-100 million around the world, more than were killed in the War

flu fighters

LOC, Flu Fighters, Montenegro, 1918

Healthcare workers with the American Red Cross. They went to Montenegro to care for small pox and typhus patients. Then the Spanish Flu broke out and brought them more patients.


6 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday

  1. Great photos. Keeping people off the streetcars without masks was a good idea. I wonder how well that was received? They need to so that again!


  2. When I first started learning about the Spanish flu in my early years of doing genealogy, I do not recall seeing photos of people in masks. Now we are reminded how similar our days and lives are to those in 1918.


  3. Excellent set of photos with the earlier pandemic and how efforts were made to mask as protection, and how health care workers wore them as well.


  4. A good choice of photos that not only fit the prompt but tie right into what we’re currently going through. Nice job!


  5. I’ve read a lot about the Great Influenza pandemic and the doctors and nurses who cared for the sick were incredibly courageous. Especially because of the limitations of medical science then. The virus did not originate in Spain either, but in Kansas.


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