Enduring Tuberculosis: America’s Quest for a Cure

Opens Mid July 2004

In a world before antibiotics, tuberculosis — or “TB” as it is commonly known — touched the lives of many Americans, claiming nearly one billion lives in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Sparked by the resurgence of this chronic and deadly disease, The New Jersey Historical Society, in collaboration with the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown New York, has developed an exhibition that will provide visitors with an historical context for tuberculosis, a once “cured” disease now making a comeback.

The exhibition, Enduring Tuberculosis: America’s Quest for a Cure, explores the compelling story of the history of tuberculosis using primary documents, photographs, and artifacts. Through the examination of such issues as the role of public health, the rights of individuals versus the needs of society, and the way in which a disease can be used to marginalize an entire segment of the population, the exhibition explores how TB has changed our architecture, social customs and healthcare. It also provides valuable lessons about the present and future state of healthcare in America.
Organized by The Cooperstown Graduate Program and supported in part by a major grant from Johnson & Johnson

Above Photo: The public health campaign to end tuberculosis reinforced behaviors that are now embedded in our culture although we no longer assoicate them with TB. Plenty of rest and sleeping with the windows open have their roots in this campaign.Courtesy Adirondack Museum
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