New York City Travel
Public health exhibits and permanent collections in the museum. Guide and description for visitors.    
American Museum of Natural History.


In a prominent position in the entrance way to the west corridor of the American Museum of Natural History is a bronze bust of Louis Pasteur, the founder of modern bacteriology, to whose researches we are indebted for the establishment of the germ theory of disease and public health.

Directly in the foreground is a case containing a remark-able model of the flea, 120 times the length of the actual insect, in bulk the equal of 1,728,000 fleas.

Near-by is a model of the body louse, the carrier of typhus fever, one hundred times the length of the insect itself, and adjacent and more noticeable than either of the above, a model of the fly, over twelve inches long and having the bulk of 64,000 flies. This is the finest model of its kind ever made and more than a year of constant work was required to construct it. The deadly work of the fly as a disease carrier and the practical methods by which it may be controlled are illustrated in adjacent cases.

At the left is an exhibit dealing with the natural source of water supply, its contamination and pollution, storage, filtration, disinfection and. purification, keys for public health.

A series of five large relief maps shows the development of the water supply of New York City.

Following are models and charts illustrating the improper disposal of sewage and how it can be avoided, the polluted waters of New York Harbor commonly used as bathing places and shellfish beds; models of the latest and most approved types of sedimentation tanks, filter beds and screens are included.

The shapes and relative sizes of many forms of bacteria are illustrated, and window transparencies show how the more important bacterial forms appear under the micro-scope.

The ravages of the "Black Death," or bubonic plague, are well illustrated, with habitat groups of the rats and ground squirrels which serve as intermediate hosts for its microbes.

The mosquito, the carrier of malaria and yellow fever, has its section, as well as such other disease carriers as the tick and bedbug, and the Glossina, which transmits sleeping sickness.
Exhibits are also installed illustrating military hygiene and sanitation and the rations of troops in the field.

The exhibit is a portion of a comprehensively planned Hall of Public Health of the American Museum of Natural History, which ultimately will cover a much wider field. The exhibits now installed cover with reason-able completeness the topics of water supply, sewage disposal and insect-borne disease.
Near the stairway is a reading table where booklets on insect-borne diseases and public health problems may be consulted.
The collection of objects relating to the life and works of John J. Audubon is installed along the stairway. Continue to the


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