I thought it would be fun to give some perspective on public health and the Department’s activities 100 years ago as we approach our Centennial in a few weeks.
Our AZ Public Health Laboratory is celebrating its 100th birthday shortly- just like the State. Our Lab was one of the first parts of state government- it created by the first State Legislature in 1912… and was called the “Pure Food and Drug Laboratory”. It was at U of A’s in Old Main. The earliest work of the laboratory was focused on food safety. For example, they discovered that some canned peas had been artificially colored with copper sulfate and the presence of absinthe in saloons. They also discovered that some dairies were adding formaldehyde to milk to prevent spoilage.
Steve Baker in the Lab has been working late over the last couple of weeks to put together a photo collage of early Lab work and some short stories. The full collage isn’t ready yet- but you can check out their starter Lab history web-page which has a picture of the 1912 Lab.