11 Bizarre Ways They Treated The Flu In The Olden Days

A guide to treating and preventing the flu circa a long time ago.

1. You’d smoke bomb your lungs.

1880: Cure influenza with this “smoke ball” (right, if by “cure” you mean “feeling groovy”) as endorsed by the Duke of Portland! You’d insert tubes in your nose, then squeeze the ball to release vapors of carbolic acid.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

2. This was the hospital. Blerg.

In 1918, the world was hit with one of the worst pandemics, which killed 20-50 million people worldwide. Welcome to your new home: a hospital made of rows of tents.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

3. Wear super attractive contraptions.

Don’t want to die and living in the year 1919? Then wear this crazy flu mask.

Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

4. Spray down the busses with anti-flu spray.

1920: The old-timey version of Purelling the crap out of something.

Davis / Getty Images

5. Wear the fashion statement du jour: flu masks.

1929 was huge for the flu mask—all the chicest ladies had one.

Keystone / Getty Images

6. Or opt for one of these “germ traps.”

1932: The powers of a roll of toilet paper on your face.

Fox Photos / Getty Images

7. Fourth period: gargling class.

Class of 1933. This was actually a thing.

Fox Photos / Getty Images

8. Get yourself to an anti-flu spray party!

Things start getting crazy in 1937.

Fox Photos / Getty Images

9. If all else fails, wear a sign, stoopid.

1939: Stop kissing this baby, for the love of God.

Harry Shepherd / Getty Images

10. Don’t forget to take care of the animals, too.

In 1950, a turkey gets bundled up to ward off colds and flus … so folks can eat him later!

Reg Speller / Getty Images

11. Finally, we arrive at the modern flu shot.

All of a sudden, flu shots become very, very fun.

Harry Todd / Getty Images

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

  Your Reaction?

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.


    Now Buzzing