During this cold and flu season, I frequently see tips for staying healthy. A hundred years ago people also want to avoid spreading diseases. Here is a list in a 1920 home economics textbook of precautions to take against infection and spreading disease:
- Use individual towels, combs, brushes, and clothing.
- Use individual drinking cups.
- Do not put fingers or hands to the mouth or face.
- Do not put money, pencils, pins, or anything else but food and drink into the mouth.
- Use a handkerchief to cover a sneeze or cough.
- Do not carry a handkerchief in the hand or leave it lying about. Put it where it will not be seen.
- Use gauze or clothes that may be burned when you have a cold; then burn them after use.
- Never kiss anyone on the mouth.
- Never spit on the floor of any building, or on the sidewalk.
- Avoid crowds of all kinds when there is an epidemic.
- Isolate yourself when there is an epidemic.
- Disinfect all dishes, clothing and other things which have been used by a person who had had a contagious disease.
Source: Household Arts for Home and School (Vol. II) (1920) by Anna M. Cooley & Wilhelmina H. Spohr