The April Fool Archive

Dutch Sleeping Sickness    (April Fool's Day - 1914)

The Dutch magazine Het Leven ran an extensive photo feature about the outbreak of a so-called tropical "sleeping sickness" epidemic in the Netherlands. The disease was said to thankfully be mild. It simply caused victims to sleep for extremely long periods of time.

A supposed victim of the disease. It was actually a photo of a fallen statue.

Alleged victims of the sleeping sickness in hospital beds in Amsterday. In reality, this was a picture taken in a municipal lodging house in New York.

Supposedly highly magnified eggs of the Tsetse fly, the insect that
transmitted the sleeping sickness. Actually a clay model.

Doctors researching the disease had to dress in airtight suits, as illustrated here.
This was actually a photo of the German inventor Herr Heinrich showing off
a maritime life-saving suit he had designed.

A crowd gathered to wait for further news about the epidemic.
This was actually a photo of a crowd in Zaandam waiting to see the installation of the city's new mayor.

Dutch soccer player Just Göbel in bed, felled by the sleeping sickness. Attended to by Dr. Pormo van Heukelen

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