11 Bizarre Ways They Treated The Flu In The Olden Days


A guide to treating and preventing the flu circa a long time ago. posted about a day ago

Leonora Epstein BuzzFeed Staff

1. You’d smoke bomb your lungs.

1880: Cure influenza with this “smoke ball” (right, if by “cure” you mean “feeling groovy”) as endorsed by the Duke of Portland! You’d insert tubes in your nose, then squeeze the ball to release vapors of carbolic acid.

You'd smoke bomb your lungs.
Image by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

2. This was the hospital. Blerg.

In 1918, the world was hit with one of the worst pandemics, which killed 20-50 million people worldwide. Welcome to your new home: a hospital made of rows of tents.

This was the hospital. Blerg.

Image by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

3. Wear super attractive contraptions.

Don’t want to die and living in the year 1919? Then wear this crazy flu mask.

Wear super attractive contraptions.

Image by Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

4. Spray down the busses with anti-flu spray.

1920: The old-timey version of Purelling the crap out of something.

Spray down the busses with anti-flu spray.

Image by Davis / Getty Images

5. Wear the fashion statement <i>du jour</i>: flu masks.

1929 was huge for the flu mask—all the chicest ladies had one.

Wear the fashion statement &lt;i&gt;du jour&lt;/i&gt;: flu masks.

Image by Keystone / Getty Images

6. Or opt for one of these “germ traps.”

1932: The powers of a roll of toilet paper on your face.

Or opt for one of these "germ traps."

Image by Fox Photos / Getty Images

7. Fourth period: gargling class.

Class of 1933. This was actually a thing.

Fourth period: gargling class.

Image by Fox Photos / Getty Images

8. Get yourself to an anti-flu spray party!

Things start getting crazy in 1937.

Get yourself to an anti-flu spray party!

Image by Fox Photos / Getty Images

9. If all else fails, wear a sign, stoopid.

1939: Stop kissing this baby, for the love of God.

If all else fails, wear a sign, stoopid.

Image by Harry Shepherd / Getty Images

10. Don’t forget to take care of the animals, too.

In 1950, a turkey gets bundled up to ward off colds and flus … so folks can eat him later!

Don't forget to take care of the animals, too.

Image by Reg Speller / Getty Images

11. Finally, we arrive at the modern flu shot.

All of a sudden, flu shots become very, very fun.

Finally, we arrive at the modern flu shot.

Image by Harry Todd / Getty Images

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3 thoughts on “11 Bizarre Ways They Treated The Flu In The Olden Days

  1. If people would learn to cover their mouths when they cough or cover their noses when they sneeze & wash their hands and stay home when they are sick it would HELP! 😉 Stay away from flu shots as well!!!! I never take one. But what do I know. 🙂

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