SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
 
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • JOIN THE NAVY, 1917

Contagion: 1918

Contagion: 1918

"Demonstration at the Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station in Washington, D.C., during the influenza pandemic of 1918." 4x5 glass negative. View full size.

 
On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Prorated

The U.S. population in 1920 was about a third of what it is now, so the death toll for an equivalent pandemic today would be around 2 million.

A Real Pandemic

With all the talk of Ebola these days, let's put it into perspective with what happened in 1918. Nearly 675,000 people died in the United States, including my grandfather, who died when my father was only three months old. An estimated 50 million people died worldwide.

1918 pandemic was serious

My father's first wife died of flu during the 1918 pandemic in Washington, D.C., leaving a son less than 2 years old.

I wonder

what they would make of the precautions being taken against ebola?

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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