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2002/101/3 Poster, 'Wash your hands', health, paper, printed by V C N Blight, Government Printer, Sydney, produced by the New South Wales Department of Public Health, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1955. Click to enlarge.

'Wash your hands' poster

Made
For more than a century posters have given visual expression to the reach of public health. Appropriating the techniques of consumer culture, their messages have advertised everything from hand-washing to hair-nets, from vaccination to X-rays. Produced by government departments and community organisations, posters have had a role in combating infectious disease, drugs, and poor nutrition, and in promoting healthy habits, workplace safety, and sexual health.

The 'Wash your hands' poster is one …

Summary

Object No.

2002/101/3

Object Statement

Poster, 'Wash your hands', health, paper, printed by V C N Blight, Government Printer, Sydney, produced by the New South Wales Department of Public Health, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1955

Physical Description

Poster, 'Wash your hands', health, paper, printed by V C N Blight, Government Printer, Sydney, produced by the New South Wales Department of Public Health, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1955.

Rectangular, two-colour poster in portrait format, titled 'Wash your hands', promoting hygiene through hand-washing. The poster is printed in red and black and features a hand-rendered illustration of hands being washed with soap and water, surrounded by illustrations of an outdoor toilet, food and a dog and accompanying text. Production details printed across the bottom.

Marks

Title inscribed across top, printed in red and black text "WASH / your / hands".
Text inscribed within poster, printed in white text on black and red backgrounds "AFTER USING TOILET / BEFORE TOUCHING FOOD / AFTER TOUCHING PETS / DIRTY HANDS SPREAD DISEASE".
Production details inscribed across bottom, printed in black text "V.C.N. BLIGHT, GOVERNMENT PRINTER" and "N.S.W. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH".

Dimensions

Height

721 mm

Width

470 mm

Production

Notes

Produced by the New South Wales Department of Health and printed by V.C.N. Blight, Government Printer, Sydney.

The graphic style and the content of the collection of health and safety posters amongst which this particular poster was found suggest that they were all produced around the 1950s.

History

Notes

According to the vendor, these posters were found when he was helping a friend go through his late mother's possessions. The woman had been a scripture teacher and utilized the backs of unused posters as classroom teaching aids to write her scripture lessons. It is not known where she obtained the posters in the first place.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 2002

Acquisition Date

6 September 2002

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Wash your hands' poster 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 September 2021, <https://ma.as/11001>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/11001 |title='Wash your hands' poster |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 September 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}