How To Make Mask for Prevention of Influenza

Edmonton Bulletin, October 24. 1918.

During 17 century plague epidemics, physicians protected themselves against „bad air“(miasma) thought to cause the disease, with oiled suit and a mask with a protruding beak filled with fragrant herbs such as garlic or rue. The demand for general use of face masks appeared only in the early 20 century: first during the pneumonic plague in Manchuria in 1911. The shape of the masks followed masks used since 1895 by surgeons and nurses to protect patients against droplet infection during operations. The „Spanish flu“ pandemic of 1918-1920 brought about ordinances on obligatory mask use in many places such as Lausanne in Switzerland or certain regions in the US and Canada. Just as today, people were making their own masks and just as today, the regulations often were often resisted and ridiculed.