Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Great War: May 2, 1917

In May 1917, during the weeks after war with Germany had been declared, the women of Hudson were encouraged by Marsh & Bachman ads to acquire "genuine khaki military suits." At the same time, as summer approached, they were exhorted to wage their own war against flies and dirt.

On May 2, the Hudson Evening Register devoted quite a bit of attention to the threat posed by flies. In addition to the extensive article whose headlines and opening paragraph are reproduced above, the very graphic warning about the deadly threat of flies, and other items admonishing housewives to treat manure with borax and buy or build fly traps (along with instructions for building a fly trap), there was an article about the efforts of the Hudson Civic Improvement Association to keep the alleys clean and to open a playground and milk station for children. This article provides some insight into the apparent obsession in Hudson at the time with flies and disease. The article makes reference to "the terrible epidemic that prevailed in our city during the past summer." It is not entirely clear what disease was rampant in Hudson during the summer of 1916, but later in the article reference is made to "a number of cases of anterior poliomyelitis in our city." This is cited as the reason the playground and milk station had not been opened the previous summer.

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