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“The Next to Go, Fight Tuberculosis” was a poster commissioned by the Red Cross to encourage support for the Red Cross Christmas Seal Campaign. Tuberculosis was the dominant chronic illness of the first half of the 20th Century. With no effective drug treatment at the time, everyone exposed to this illness gained the primary infection which usually healed spontaneously. Over a period of months or years, the primary could develop into a secondary infection which would lead to the gradual destruction of one's lungs. An individual with the secondary infection would be isolated from everyone and usually went through ineffective, grueling surgeries and treatments. During the end of WWI, the army was not prepared for the high count of tuberculosis patients. This lead to many men being discharged in order to stop the spread of tuberculosis. The Red Cross used posters about fighting tuberculosis to make more people aware of the dangers of the disease. Long after the war ended, in the 1950s, drug treatments, streptomycin and isoniazid, were invented, and the cases of tuberculosis decreased dramatically. While the specific artist of this poster is unknown, it is known that Sackett & Wilhelms Corp. published the poster in 1919. This poster was created and reproduced as a colored print at the time of its distribution.


WWI, poster, American Red Cross, lithographic print, propaganda