January 17, 2018

Gallery Editor’s Note, October 2015

by Finis Dunaway

In this issue’s Gallery essay, Bob Reinhardt considers a diverse set of images produced in conjunction with the global campaign to eradicate smallpox. Focusing on three images that circulated in Nigeria during the late 1960s, Reinhardt shows how national and international health authorities promoted the vaccination program through the strategic use of magazine and poster illustrations. According to Reinhardt, these images celebrated humanity’s technological triumph over the deadly disease and effaced global power dynamics by presenting local people involved in a universal campaign to defeat smallpox. His essay complements this issue’s Forum on technology, ecology, and human health since 1850 by demonstrating how visual analysis can complicate historical interpretations of disease, technology, and health.

I have

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been a fan of the Gallery section ever since Kathryn Morse and Adam Rome launched this unique feature of the journal twelve years ago. I am delighted to serve as the new Gallery editor and want to thank Lisa Brady, Neil Maher, and Cindy Ott for their enormous assistance and advice during this transition period. I hope to build on the excellent work of my predecessors by treating the Gallery section as a creative and capacious forum. I look forward to working with authors who want to probe the myriad ways that images can enrich and enliven our field.

Bob Reinhardt’s “Smallpox Denaturalized, Demonized, and Eradicable” >>

Gallery Editor’s Note on Oxford Journals >>

Smallpox Denaturalized, Demonized, and Eradicable

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by Bob H. Reinhardt

Bob H. Reinhardt is the author of The End of a Global Pox: America and the Eradication of Smallpox in the Cold War Era, published by the University of North Carolina Press. He is the executive director of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon.

These images from the global smallpox eradication effort in the 1960s and 1970s offer a variety of contrasts: a barnyard animal inside the rationalized space of a vaccine production laboratory; a white-coated expert working with a family in more traditional attire; humans wielding bow and arrow versus a giant demon that spews disease and death. All were part of a broader scheme to advertise and market smallpox vaccination to the millions of people in the so-called less developed world targeted by the global smallpox eradication program (1958–77). The World Health Organization coordinated this international effort in conjunction with a bilateral US program in West and Central Africa (1965–70) organized by the Communicable

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Disease Center (the CDC; now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Global health authorities and national health ministries produced dozens of illustrative posters, handbills, stamps, and periodical pieces like these that constructed smallpox as a deserving target for elimination. They did so in part by denaturalizing vaccination, moving the vaccine production and application process into the safe, technologically advanced, and sanitary confines of the laboratory and physician’s office, thereby hiding the potentially dangerous nature of the vaccine. Advertisements also tried to deflect concerns about neocolonialism and doubts about the program’s viability by emphasizing a confident sense of cooperation, with everyone uniting to fight the demon of smallpox. In contrast to narratives of smallpox eradication that emphasize the creativity, determination, and luck that led to smallpox’s demise, these three images from the campaign in Nigeria suggest just how much smallpox eradication relied on…

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Chesterfield Inlet, 1949, and the Ecology of Epidemic Polio

Fig5Piper-550 by Liza Piper

Environmental historians have yet to engage with the history of polio. This article uses a 1949 outbreak that occurred during the global height of polio epidemics but in an unexpected place, Chesterfield Inlet in the Canadian Arctic, to examine the influence of Arctic environments on midcentury biomedical research into poliomyelitis. This influence arose in part because of the historical role of such environments and their indigenous inhabitants as laboratories and research subjects, respectively. This influence also reflected the ongoing importance of environmental etiologies to the study of polio, specifically through the significance of epidemiological and immunological research. The article explores the role of environment in the transmission and perception of the disease in Chesterfield Inlet, as well as the research into climate, food, and immunity that arose out of the epidemic. The Chesterfield Inlet outbreak reveals the significance of the historical colonization of Arctic peoples and environments in shaping the course of the epidemic and the medical knowledge that was created in response to it. The outbreak also demonstrates the ecological perspective shaping an understanding of immunity to polioviruses and encouraging the development of a vaccine.

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Constructing State Power: Internal and External Frontiers in Colonial North India, 1850s–1900s

Fig2Haines-550 By Daniel Haines

This article places environmental history for the first time at the center of British India’s borderlands with a particular focus on the province of Sindh. Northern, or Upper, Sindh, defined by its proximity to mountainous tribal Balochistan, was an “external frontier,” whereas southeastern

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Sindh, located well within British India’s territorial boundaries, was an “internal frontier” where aridity and scarcity of population meant that there was little to support a strong state presence. Colonial policy on both frontiers used irrigation canals to effect environmental change and to establish stronger state control in areas where officials thought it insufficient. In southeastern Sindh, canal construction was a broader and deeper modernizing project than it was in the northern part of the province. These two contrasting frontier policies aimed to produce very different geographies of state space. A close investigation of canal policy written between 1850 and 1900 shows a clear aim to create a discursive and material distinction between Sindh as the interior of the empire and Balochistan as exterior. Analyzing a frontier’s inward or outward orientation helps us understand how frontier policy is developed and executed.

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Water in Paradise: California, Florida, and Environmental Rivalry in the Gilded Age

KnightLozanoFIG3-550by Henry Knight Lozano

Focusing on the writings of state and local promoters, this article traces how water-based characteristics formed a fundamental differential in the rivalry between California and Florida for settlers and tourists in the Gilded Age. In crude terms California and Florida presented as environmental opposites: while the Pacific state—its southern part, especially—was associated with a scarcity of water, Florida, with its many rivers, lakes, springs, and swamps, appeared to host a troubling abundance of the stuff. An important element of truth underpinned these conceptions. But in their competition to sell their states as “paradises” for Americans, land and tourism boosters accentuated this environmental

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dichotomy and its potential developmental consequences. “Dry” California was set against “watery” Florida as promoters repeatedly attacked the other’s supposed environmental deficiencies. Ultimately, while both states succeeded in becoming leading tourist destinations, Southern California’s proponents seemed to hold the upper hand over their Florida counterparts in selling an American homeland. Their championing of irrigation as a “civilizing” process that converted desert into prosperous garden soothed widespread anxieties over living in such an arid land and contrasted with the persistent struggles of Florida’s advocates to convince Americans to relocate permanently to the supposedly water-logged peninsula.

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The Shoemaker’s Circus: Grizzly Adams and Nineteenth-Century Animal Entertainment

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by Jon T Coleman

Grizzly Adams rose to fame in partnership with bears. A wilderness celebrity, he actually grew up in Massachusetts, where he trained as a shoemaker. Shoemaking taught him how to instruct others including wild animals. His management ethos emerged from a nineteenth-century household manufacturing system coming undone by industrial capitalism. This article delves into Adams’s shoemaking background to recover the entwined histories of industrial discipline and wild animal training. Grizzly Adams

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trained bears like human apprentices and apprentices like bears. They all belonged to his working family. Adams manipulated the social behavior of grizzly bears to bring a dying patriarchal labor tradition back to life. Immature animals followed his commands, but he struggled to control full-grown bears, a failure that led to the demise of his family and the end of his act.

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