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Edinburgh

Where and When?

Title:  Tramway Employees being inoculated against Influenza

Tramway Workers being innoculated against influenza  -  possibly around 1918-1920

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  Nov. 6, 2009   Photographer not known

 

Enlarge this photo

   Tramway Workers being innoculated against influenza  -  possibly around 1918-1920

 

Tramway Employees  -  Influenza Inoculations

Old Photo

Thank you to John Stirling for allowing me to reproduce this photo.  The photo is taken from a collection of lantern slides that John rescued from being destroyed in 1974.  The photographer is not known.

Some of the other slides from this series are known to have been taken between about 1910 and 1920.

When and Where?

Can you suggest where and when this photo might have been taken.  The title on the slide is 'Tramway Employees being inoculated against Influenza'.

Spanish Flu?

Might this photo have some connection with the Spanish Flu pandemic that spread across the world from 1918 to 1922?

Here is another lantern slide from the same collection.  It may also be connected with the same pandemic.  It shows girls gargling in a large store, presumably in Edinburgh.

Answers?

If you have any ideas thoughts about the photo at the top of this page, please email me.

Thank you. 

Peter Stubbs:  December 17, 2009

 

Answer

1.

Liz Miller

Jersey, Channel Islands

Thank you to Liz Miller who replied to my suggestion that the vaccinations might have some connection with the Spanish Flu pandemic that spread across the world from 1918 to 1922.

I have included an extract from Liz's comments below.

Liz wrote:

Date of the Photo?

"I  didn't think that vaccination was invented that early, so checked Wikipedia.   Here's what I found:

Influenza?

"The first significant step towards preventing influenza was the development in 1944 of a killed-virus vaccine for influenza by Thomas Francis Jr.

Application of this observation by Francis allowed his group of researchers at the University of Michigan to develop the first influenza vaccine, with support from the US Army.  The Army was deeply involved in this research due to its experience of influenza n World War I, when thousands of troops were killed by the virus in a matter of months."

Smallpox

"I wonder if it is Smallpox that the tramway workers are being vaccinated against.  On a quick search I can't find when there were outbreaks in the Edinburgh area.   There may have been an outbreak when I was a baby (1943).  Would that fit in with the dress of the Doctors?"

"It will be interesting to see what others come up with!"

Liz Miller, Jersey, Channel Islands:  December 18, 2009

Further Research Needed

Thanks for your comments, Liz.  It looks as if a little more research will be needed.  The title on this slide is 'Tramway Employees being inoculated against Influenza', so it seems to me that influenza is more likely than smallpox.

As for the date, does the style of the tramway workers' caps, or anything else in the photo give a clue?  I've tried looking at a higher resolution copy of this photo but it's still not possible to read the wording on the paper on the table.

Peter Stubbs:  December 19, 2009

 

Answer

2.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

I found an article in the British Medical Journal in 1929 that refers to an influenza epidemic that year.  Perhaps this is the year when the photos were taken.

Here are extracts from the BMJ article:

January 1929

"The Registrar General for Scotland reports that during the week ended January 19th deaths from influenza numbered 179, which was 123 more than in the previous week."

Tramway Workers

"The public services suffered severely, for about 250 tramwaymen were off duty largely from this cause, and the police force was reduced by a sick list of 230.

In Edinburgh the number of cases of influenza, though it was generally of a mild type was very large.  As a precautionary measure, the staffs of various hospitals received preventative inoculations

An offer was made by the health department of the city to inoculate staffs of the tramway and other transport services, and this offer was accepted by a large number of men, over 100 tramway workers having been inoculated by January 25th."

The British Medical Journal, February 2, 1929, P.219

 

Answer

3.

Joan Ballantyne

Thank you to Joan Ballantyne who wrote:

Infection Control?

"Whatever happened to infection control? Two hypodermics and a winchester of vaccine.  I wouldn't want to be the last!"

Joan Ballantyne:  Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  December 18, 2009

 

Where is it?

Around Edinburgh

    

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks