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Pocket Spittoon
early 1900s

Glass pocket flask
In the 1800s and early 1900s, pulmonary tuberculosis was a major health concern. Those suspected of suffering from the disease might be ostracized, ridiculed, and denied certain civil rights. One of the signs of tuberculosis was the production of large amounts of viscous, sometimes bloody, matter from the lungs. As a result, sufferers used objects like this glass pocket flask to dispose of the coughed up mass, without drawing attention to themselves by spitting.

Notes
Tuberculosis reached near-epidemic proportions in the rapidly urbanizing and industrializing societies of Europe and North America in the 1700s and 1800s.
Acquired, 1990
Web display only

Learn more!
· Tuberculosis
· Robert Koch

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