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September 14, 2022 40 min

In the early 1900s, Imogene Rechtin started a crusade to get people to stop kissing socially as a way to stop disease spread. Her argument was sound, but she was largely dismissed as being uptight.

Research:

  • “Health Society Bars Kisses.” The Taney Country Republican (Forsyth, Missouri). June 15, 1911. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/859865029/?terms=Imogene%20Rechtin&match=1
  • “World’s Health Organization Waging War Against Kissing.” The Evening-Times Star and Almeda Daily Argus.” Feb 23, 1911. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/607117745/?terms=Imogene%20Rechtin&match=1
  • “An Assault on Kissing.” The Washington Post. Nov. 22, 1908. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/28961790/?terms=%22kiss%22&match=1
  • “Declares Kiss Must Go.” Herald and Review. Decatur, Illinois. Nov. 27, 1908. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/92535138/?terms=%22Declares%20Kiss%20Must%20Go%22&match=1
  • “Woman Doctor Says Kissing In Unseemly.” The Washington Times. Nov. 22, 1908. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/80711073/?terms=%22kissing%20unseemly%22&match=1
  • Patterson, Ethel Lloyd. “Kiss is Under Ban of ‘Brains’ in Quaker City.” Oakland Tribune. Nov. 30, 1908. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/76453147/?terms=%22Kiss%20is%20Under%20Ban%20of%20%27Brains%27%20in%20Quaker%20City%22&match=1
  • “Fight Against Kissing.” The News (Frederick Maryland). June 17, 1910. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/18372050/?terms=%22Fight%20Against%20Kissing%22&match=1
  • “To Kiss or Not to Kiss.” The San Francisco Call. July 31, 1910. Accessed through the National Endowment for the Humanities. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-07-31/ed-1/seq-16/
  • “Antikisser? Pshaw!” The Washington Post. June 29, 1910. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/31555929/
  • “MORTALITY STATISTICS:1910.” Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau of the Census.” 1912. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsushistorical/mortstatbl_1910.pdf
  • Dublin, Louis I. and Jessamine Whitney. “On the Costs of Tuberculosis.” Quarterly Publications of the American Statistical Association , Dec., 1920, Vol. 17, No. 132 (Dec., 1920), pp. 441-450. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2965239.pdf
  • “Cincinnati Woman in Fight Against Kissing.” The Tribune. Aug. 10 1910. https://www.newspapers.com/image/legacy/157436476/?terms=%22Fight%20Against%20Kissing%22&match=1
  • Last, John. “The Woman Who Fought to End the ‘Pernicious’ Scourge of Kissing.” Smithsonian. May 31, 2022. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-woman-who-campaigned-against-the-pernicious-scourge-of-kissing-180980141/
  • Tesh, Sylvia. “POLITICAL IDEOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.” International Journal of Health Services, vol. 12, no. 2, 1982, pp. 321–42. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/45130380
  • Baldwin, Peter C. “Dangers that Lurk in a Kiss: Quarantining the American Mouth, 1890–1920.”  Journal of Social History. Volume 55, Issue 3, Spring 2022, Pages 647–667. https://doi.org/10.1093/jsh/shab014
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