The latest Transmissible purchase: a documentary on poliomyelitis in America. Stream it here:
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The polio epidemic in early 20th century America was a crippling (literally) health threat that seized the world. This film, Babies and Breadwinners, documents the polio vaccination campaign in Columbus, Georgia. The film is a wonderful look at a typical 1960s community and how it was able to band together in order to fight off a menacing disease. Precious footage of all the different aspects of community are represented: the church, the city council and government, the schools, and even print and television ads. Most interestingly, an early shot of Bozo the Clown being vaccinated is included; nowadays this would not be used to promote vaccination given the hype of the horror clowns.
Babies and Breadwinners is a remarkable film that well documents the fight against polio as well as 60s community life.