Infantile Paralysis: Notice From Board of Health [caption title].
A small circular stating that, as of August 27, 1916, children of sixteen years of age or younger are legally prevented from entering the town of Lambertville, New Jersey, ‘until further notice.’ The circular is dated in type August 26, 1916, about three months after New York City officially announced the infamous outbreak that would ultimately claim over 2,000 lives in New York City alone. Lambertville, about 75 miles from New York, had a population of about 4,600 people at the time.
In this text, all children entering the Lambertville must now either pass directly through, or present themselves to the Board of Health for written permission to stay. Townspeople are reminded that they are required to report any children who have entered the town without announcing themselves. The note ends with the assurance that ‘Any person failing to comply with the above regulations is liable to the full penalty of the law.’ Signed in type by the President of the Board of Health, George L. Romine.
Infantile Paralysis, better known today as polio, was a serious global health issue until Jonas Salk (1914-1995) developed a vaccine in 1955. Mr. Salk would have been one year old at the printing of this circular.
An ephemeral survival. A powerful reminder of the dangers of communicable diseases, and especially poignant as similar issues are finding their way back into the news.
Description: Infantile Paralysis: Notice From Board of Health [caption title].
[Lambertville, NJ ?]: n.p., [August 26, 1916 ?]. Circular, 9½ x 6¼ inches. About Very Good, with folds, some separation, small loss at center not affecting text, and minor chipping to lower edge and corners, all due to inferior paper quality.