Here is some great semiotic teaching from Germany in 1931 in the form of 30 illustrations explaining — in a book called “Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern” — how NOT to electrocute yourself.  In this image, baby found a new nipple!

Plunging metal prongs into a live electric outlet can have only one outcome:

Is this a warning against electrocution — or is it really an illustration of assisted suicide?

The intention behind these creatively inspired scientific images from 1931 is important to ponder, but the end result 75 years later is one of puzzlement as we are left to wonder how many lives were saved and how many new experiments were inspired.


  1. I wonder how many times it has happened that warnings not to do things inspire people to do exactly those things.

  2. Those images do sort of make you want to re-enact them, Gordon! I remember as a child putting a bar of soap in my mouth only because I was told not to. SMILE!

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