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Description:This historic diagram, which had been digitally enhanced and colorized, depicted an unsanitary privy that was attracting flies, which could carry, and transmit infective pathogens to nearby human beings. Other examples of poor sanitation included the lack of screens on the house windows. Note the presence of flies evident throughout the home’s food preparation areas; a dirt pathway leading from the house to the privy, which increased the chances of dirt entering the living spaces; an open privy door allowing flies to enter the privy, while in close proximity to the outdoor potable water spigot; the barefoot child increased his susceptibility to disease such as hookworm; the milk containers from the wagon in the background were leaking in the direction of the house and water supply.
Published in 1916, this was one of a series of instructional drawings used by the Minnesota Board of Health to train its state public health workers. The purpose of this and other like images, and the training was focused on protecting potable water supplies from bacterial contamination due to incorrect disposal of waste, such as sewage, that might foul ground water. The descriptive information accompanying this drawing referred to a governmental publication with instructions describing the correct placement and construction of a detached home privy. The specific citation was, “Minnesota State Board of Health, The Sanitary Privy, May, 1916, p. 6”.
High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (29.76 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Minnesota Department of Health, R.N. Barr Library; Librarians Melissa Rethlefsen and Marie Jones
Creation Date:1916
Photo Credit:
Links:Minnesota Health Department
Minnesota Health Department; R.N. Barr Library
CDC – Nat. Center for Infectious Diseases; Water-Related Diseases
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.