Progressive Era

Issues and Topics of Concern

Sanitation in Uncle Sam

During the Progressive Era, sanitation started to become a top priority. Sanitation became a primary public issue, because disease became the largest cause of death, being easily transmitted through the low sanitation paths. Areas with the least amount of sanitation included households, food manufacturers, and busy streets. During this time, Tuberculosis, Cholera, and Yellow Fever were the deadliest diseases, passed from rodents to spoiled food, and into the air.
The low amount of sanitation quickly came into the public eye, soon leading to the Sanitation Reform. The Sanitation Reform was a law passed by legislature to improve public health and social conditions of citizens. The act was established with the help of juvenile cleaning volunteers, and promoting a more structured and mandatory sanitation system, requiring things like garbage men, trash bags, soap,etc. Once this was established, the rate of death from disease and poor hygiene suddenly decreased.
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"Food" for Thought

Before concern was raised about where food came from, citizens during the progressive era were oblivious as to what they were eating. During this time, there were no laws or regulations on food processing, manufacturing, or consumption. Needless to say, this was a large part of the issue on sanitation. Food plant workers were not required to abide be any safely or hygienic rules, nor were basic rules of code set in place for topics like raw meat storage, overseas shipments, or in store quality.
This flaw allowed the Pure Food and Drug Act you make miss branded food shipments and consumption illegal, stemming from the sanitation reform. Smoked meat was now not allowed to go un-smoked, Pork had to be labelled as pork, etc. All food manufacturers were required to pass health and safety acts, having all employees a\wash and use gloves, and prevent cross contamination. Before this act, the public was highly exposed to rotten and often diseased meats, eggs, and spoiled fruits and vegetables.
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Fashion Forward Females

Progressive Era fashion primarily consisted of heavy multi-layering draping, late Victorian styles, with high necklines and low skirted lines. As the Women's Suffrage continued, women started shedding off layers, with more practical and active outfits, like open necklines, v necks, and even sleeveless dresses. Corsets had a massive revolution as well, ditching the cinching painful corsets more a more natural and smoothing look.
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In this political cartoon, it is making fun of Womens Suffrage, by the way that women dress. During the progressive era, corsets and heels with heavy dresses often made walking for long periods of time uncomfortable and hard. This political cartoon tells the audience of primarily men but also women, that women cannot run for office or vote if they cannot even walk. The "women cannot even walk to the voters box" is evident here.