Top of page

Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Lewis W. Hine for the American Red Cross. American Red Cross Nurse at the Railroad Station at St. Etienne [France], Helping Wounded Soldiers on to the Tram Cars which are Being Used as Ambulances, July 1918. Photograph. American National Red Cross Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (155.00.00)
Treasury Department. United States Public Health Service. Influenza Spread by Droplets Sprayed from Nose and Throat. . . . Printed Ephemera Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (153.01.00)

Influenza Pandemic

Photographer Lewis Hine joined the American Red Cross in 1918 and then did freelance photography for the organization through the 1930s. By the time this photograph was taken in July of 1918, nearly 24,000 American Red Cross nurses were enrolled for military service. A devastating challenge emerged the same year in the form of an influenza pandemic that would eventually claim an estimated 20 to 50 million lives, more than were killed by enemy weapons. The Red Cross continued working with the U.S. Public Health Service to provide nurses and motor corps workers until the pandemic receded in 1919.