40 Eye-Opening Vintage Public Health Posters From The 1940s

Published March 16, 2016
Updated November 6, 2019

These vintage posters come from a time when syphilis was rampant, and people were expected to eat their eggs and cheese every day.

If you’re going to invoke hyperbole, it might as well be in the name of public health — at least that was the logic of public health workers in the early-to-mid 20th century. Reminiscent of propaganda posters, these occasionally (unintentionally) funny vintage posters actually made quite an impact on everything from slowing the spread of infectious disease, to bringing home the importance of vaccinations:

Vintage Health Posters Syphilis Crippler Copy
Vintage Health Posters Shame Too Long
Vintage Health Posters Children Dinosaurs
Vintage Health Posters Tuberculosis March
40 Eye-Opening Vintage Public Health Posters From The 1940s
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All posters here can be found in The Library of Congress Print and Photograph Catalog.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.