[Photos] An Historical Look at Tuberculosis


Yesterday marked World TB Day. There is still much to be done to eradicate the infectious disease globally. Here in the United States, TB rates remain around 3.4 cases per 100,000 people. And 62% of TB cases in the United States are from foreign-born persons.

While tuberculosis was rampant in the early to mid part of the twentieth century in the United States, TB has fallen drastically since then as aforementioned. In fact, according to the CDC the number of reported TB cases in 2011 was the lowest recorded since national reporting began in 1953.

Here is a look back at tuberculosis in the United States in art and photos.

2 P.M. Mrs. Katie --- (refused to give their name), 134 1/3 Thompson St., one flight up, front. Making artificial flowers in a crowded and dirty room used as kitchen, bed room, living room, and work room. Mother and family work including 8 and 9 yr. old girls in the photo (who were at home 2 P.M. on a school day) and the little 3 and 4 yr. olds who were helping by separating the petals. See report on schedule. Name is Darelli [or Tarelli?] 3 days after photo was taken the home was sealed up and disinfected by Board of Health for tuberculosis; 14 yr. old boy. Immediately the flower making resumed again. Location: New York, New York (State)
2 P.M. Mrs. Katie — (refused to give their name), 134 1/3 Thompson St., one flight up, front. Making artificial flowers in a crowded and dirty room used as kitchen, bed room, living room, and work room. Mother and family work including 8 and 9 yr. old girls in the photo (who were at home 2 P.M. on a school day) and the little 3 and 4 yr. olds who were helping by separating the petals. See report on schedule. Name is Darelli [or Tarelli?] 3 days after photo was taken the home was sealed up and disinfected by Board of Health for tuberculosis; 14 yr. old boy. Immediately the flower making resumed again. Location: New York, New York (State) January 1910.
Triboro Hospital for Tuberculosis, Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, New York. Kitchen III LC-G612-T-39079
Triboro Hospital for Tuberculosis, Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, New York. Kitchen III January 10, 1941

Sun parlor in tubercular hospital. [between ca. 1910 and ca. 1920] Dayton, Ohio (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print)
Sun parlor in tubercular hospital. [between ca. 1910 and ca. 1920] Dayton, Ohio (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print)
Protect her from tuberculosis Consultation of your doctor or clinic means prevention. WPA Federal Art Project, [between 1936 and 1938]
Protect her from tuberculosis Consultation of your doctor or clinic means prevention. WPA Federal Art Project, [between 1936 and 1938]
[Tubercular child seated on bed, outdoors, at Sea Breeze Hospital, Coney Island, New York] [between 1900 and 1920]
[Tubercular child seated on bed, outdoors, at Sea Breeze Hospital, Coney Island, New York] [between 1900 and 1920]
Photos: Library of Congress

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