As it is doing today, the city of Seattle fought to contain another flu epidemic more than a century ago. When the pandemic worsened in the fall of 1918, it was decreed that everyone should wear a mask in any situation where people were in close contact.
Streetcar conductors were ordered to prohibit anyone without a mask from boarding. Ten would-be riders were arrested on the first day the order went into effect and each offender ordered to pay bail of $5. Mayor Ole Hanson insisted masks be worn without exception, telling commuters to find one “or tomorrow morning they will walk to work.”