Graphic Witness: visual arts & social commentary Graphic Witness home page Tusche, tone and stone: 19th C. news illustration

Swill Milk
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"Swill milk,", so called because it came from cows fed distillery refuse, (and as the illustration [above, left] indicates, from dying and/or diseased cows too weak to stand) was also frequently diluted with water, and was one of the scandals Nast and others drew to public attention in an era with little or no government regulation of business practices, public health standards or safeguards for the welfare of children and the poor.

See also the same issue, as dealt with in France half a century later, by the artists of L'Assiette au Beurre.


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