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Contagious diseases

Image gallery

Anatomical exhibitions were often used to communicate information about the 'social diseases' of the 19th and early 20th centuries at a time when there were few effective cures and when even discussion of such matters was considered unacceptable. Models illustrating the ravages of syphilis, smallpox and TB gave some insight into how infection was transferred and were seen by some in the medical establishment as a powerful way of promoting the message 'prevention is better than cure.'