Join historian Cathy Polovina as she follows her curiosity and explores "Old Weird America," to look a bit closer at a variety of adventurous, innovative, and unusual characters throughout American history.
You knew this one was coming—who better to illustrate the hazards of bad hygiene and a stubborn refusal to adhere to scientific advice than the infamous (and infectious) ‘Typhoid Mary’? At the turn of the 20th century, typhoid fever ravaged the crowded inner cities, but when it hit upscale Long Island during the summer of 1904, health officials really took notice. Learn how an intrepid woman doctor and a self-styled ‘sanitation engineer’ identified Irish cook Mary Mallon, as the first known asymptomatic carrier of the deadly disease, and how Mary, to her cost, refused to understand the danger she posed.
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