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Coughs and sneezes
What better time of year to heed the 1940s Ministry of Information health campaign? Back then short amusing films were shown in cinemas reminding people to use their handkerchiefs when sneezing. Posters appeared in factories, schools and offices across Britain. A selection of humorous posters is shown here by H E Bateman, a popular cartoonist of that era.
Bateman worked on other campaigns such as saving fuel and is best remembered for ‘Coughs and sneezes spread diseases’. Posters by other artists used the same phrase, which is still remembered today.
The nation needed to be fighting fit during the Second World War and healthy hints reminded people of basic hygiene rules. Health messages carried on post war, including tips on healthy eating, tooth care and jabs for babies.
Public information films Coughs and Sneezes (1945) and Don't Spread Germs (1948) showed a slapstick approach carrying a serious message, encouraging the nation to continue to act responsibily after the war.
If you have slipped up on your resolutions, take a look at other health warnings and advice illustrated below. Campaigns to give up smoking still hold true now. Earlier Edwardian advertising posters suggested remedies for a broad range of conditions perhaps less common today.
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases, artist H E Bateman/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-188-(1)-coughs-and-sneezes-(bateman).jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/188 (1)
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases, Ministry of Health/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-188-(7)-coughs-and-sneezes-spread-diseases.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF13/188 (7)
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases, Ministry of Health 1941-1944/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/hlg7-753-coughs-and-sneezes-spread-diseases-1941-1944.jpg
Catalogue reference: HLG 7/753
What to eat and why/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-194-(3)-what-to-eat-and-why.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/194 (3)
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-189-(1)-coughs-and-sneezes-spread-diseases.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/189 (1)
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases, artist H E Bateman/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-188-(3)-coughs-and-sneezes-(bateman).jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/188 (3)
Cigarettes harm your health, artist Reginald Mount, 1960s/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/bn10-98-(2)-cigarettes-harm-your-health-artist-reginald-mount-1960s.jpg
Catalogue reference: BN10/98 (2)
Post war diphtheria immunisation poster/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-292-(20)-post-war-diphtheria-immunisation-poster.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/292 (20)
Post war teeth protection poster/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-292-(13)-post-war-teeth-protection-poster.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/292 (13)
Think before you smoke, 1963/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/bn10-98-(4)-think-before-you-smoke-1963.jpg
Catalogue reference: BN10/98 (4)
Sleaths lung mixture, 1905/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/copy1-237-(213)-lung-mixture-sleaths-1905.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/237 (213)
Six health hints/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/inf13-194-(5)-six-health-hints.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/194 (5)
You can break free if you want to, anti smoking poster 1963/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/bn10-98-(5)-you-can-break-free-if-you-want-to-anti-smoking-poster-1963.jpg
Catalogue reference: INF 13/194 (5)
Sleaths sweating mixture, 1905/images/imagelibrary/showcase/coughs-and-sneezes/copy1-237-(212)-sweating-mixture-sleaths-1905.jpg
Catalogue reference: COPY 1/237 (212)
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