TMA Unveils “Don’t Spit on the Sidewalk” Public Health Exhibit

  • WHAT: The Texas Medical Association (TMA) unveils its new History of Medicine exhibit, “Don’t Spit on the Sidewalk.” For the first time, TMA’s History of Medicine Gallery is open this coming Sunday as part of the popular Austin Museum Day.
    The exhibit’s displays tell the story of how public health and safety initiatives during the 20th century helped typical citizens live an average 25 years longer. For example, cities first began passing ordinances in 1900 prohibiting people from spitting on sidewalks because public health experts determined spitting helped spread the biggest killer of the time, tuberculosis, and other deadly diseases.

    Other exhibits depict rat kills that helped reduce the threat of bubonic plague and food contamination, food safety improvements, and concerns over quack medicine like radioactive cones for water and “Karnak stomachic tonic and system regulator.”

  • WHEN: Special viewing on Austin Museum Day, Sunday, Sept. 25, 1-4 pm; then weekdays from 8:15 am to 5:15 pm (except holidays) from Monday, Sept. 26, through September 2012.

  • WHERE: TMA building, 401 W. 15th St., TMA History of Medicine Gallery, First Floor 

Reporters and editors note: TMA’s History of Medicine exhibit will be featured as part of Austin Museum Day, Sunday, Sept. 25. The TMA gallery will be open to the public 1-4pm.  TMA’s gallery is a member of the Austin Museum Partnership. Find details about the free Museum Day trolley service here.The 14th Annual Austin Museum Day features more than 30 participating institutions. 

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing 45,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. 

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