About the only way to control smallpox before immunization was quarantine. So, if you’re on your way to your own wedding in 1902 and end up in the pest house, what do you do?
Young Ohio Couple Overcomes the Dilemma Into Which Smallpox Had Plunged Them.
Miss Nellie Stone, of Ottawa, and J. F. Duncan, of Oswego, N. Y., were married at Toledo, O., the other day under the most trying circumstances. They had been engaged for some time and the bride-to-be went to Oswego to have the ceremony performed. She stopped with a family, one of whose members was suddenly stricken with smallpox.
The quarantine of the house put the young couple in a quandary. Finally a phonograph was taken to the young woman. She spoke the marriage vows into the machine and it was taken to the office of the health department, where it was disinfected.
Armed with the phonograph Duncan sought a minister and made the responses in the marriage service, while the brass transmitter ejected the vows of the Ohio girl and they were pronounced man and wife. The bride is a contributor to eastern papers and the groom is a newspaper man.”
Happily, it does not appear that the bride ever came down with smallpox.