This film is part of Free


The face mask comes of age in this intriguing wartime guide to germ prevention.

Public Information Filler 1941 6 mins


Learn how to make a germ mask, 1940s-style! Whether it's glamour or practicality you're after, this short instructional film - made in support of the wartime government's 'coughs and sneezes spread diseases' campaign - will tell you how. Scientifically proven to be effective against all forms of 'direct projectile infection', our advice is to go out and get one now!

The film was one of several made in aid of the Ministry of Information's 'coughs and sneezes spread diseases' campaign. As much concerned with the effects of illness on productivity and essential war work as it was with protecting workers' health, the campaign took on an extra urgency as wartime conditions meant large numbers of people began gathering together in crowded air raid shelters and other communal spaces where the risk of spreading infection was much greater. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.