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June 11, 1955


JAMA. 1955;158(6):468-472. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960060026007

Although syphilis is an old disease, it took industrialists a long time to realize their responsibility regarding it. Serious accidents and financial losses finally prompted action. In 1920, the Association of Railway Surgeons adopted a resolution for cooperation with the Public Health Service in syphilis control. This action was prompted in two ways. In the first place, the increased speed of trains demanded good health in those responsible for safety. Secondly, the workers were alarmed because payment of beneficiaries suffering from late syphilis was rapidly depleting the treasury of their brotherhood. Later, the increasing publicity about syphilis aroused the public and caused unwarranted alarm, with resulting demands for increased precautions regarding those in charge of transportation and those having personal contact with the public, such as food handlers, barbers, hairdressers, and the like. As a result considerable agitation arose concerning the employability of these individuals, and considerable injustice occurred regarding