Uploaded by gockets on Mar 20, 2004
Anthony Comstock, born 1844, was a man who very strongly believed in the strict adhesion to Victorian principles and ideas. As such, he felt it his duty to take an active part in banning the print, sale, transport, or other distribution of “obscene” goods. Comstock is well known for his formation of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, or SSV. The SSV’s main goal was stop the corruption of youth within the city of New York by keeping obscene materials out of the hands of everyone, especially children. Children were felt by the SSV to need protection against obscenity because, as Anthony Comstock put it, “from infancy to maturity, the pathway of the child is beset with peculiar temptations to do evil.” The idea was to remove evil temptations from within the child’s grasp while they were maturing, so they would grow up to be proper and not perverted.
Comstock was also known for his crusade against contraceptives and information about contraceptives, which were determined to be an “obscene material.” Comstock also pushed a law which actually made the transport of “obscene material” illegal. As the police generally failed to enforce this law, Comstock and his SSV made a pseudo-legal effort to enforce it themselves, with some success. Anthony Comstock died in 1915.
A n t h o n y C o m s t o c k.
P h o t o c r e d i t: Planned Parenthood