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A Tent Called Mabel: 1909

A Tent Called Mabel: 1909

1909. "A typical house tent, Ray Brook sanatorium, Adirondack Mountains." Taking the "fresh air" cure on the grounds of the New York State Hospital for Incipient Pulmonary Tuberculosis. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.


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I wonder if it helped

I'm wondering if getting people out of their rooms for a time reduced their exposure to secondary infections. Mayo lists "ventilate the room" as a great way to prevent it even today, and notes that healthy people (good diet, exercise, etc.) often heal from TB on their own.

So there might be more to this than we'd think today.

For ambulant patients

The late 19th century saw many TB hospitals, or Sanitariums if you will, open across the country. Ray Brook was said to be the second "State"-operated tuberculosis sanatorium after one in Massachusetts. According to this article (

Tuberculosis sanitariums organized patients into three distinct classes based on the progression of their disease: hospital, semi-ambulant, and ambulant.

Upon entering the sanitarium, physicians prescribed round-the-clock bed rest to their patients in hospital wards.
Semi-ambulant patients, permitted to leave their beds several times a day, were often housed in separate hospital wards or pavilions that allowed them greater freedoms.

Finally, ambulant patients, who were closest to being cured, were assigned to open-air cottages and shacks constructed away from the main hospital buildings.

Watch your step

That's quite a non-transition there between the road, the rocks, and the boards. Tread lightly (and carefully), ladies.

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