Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which killed one in seven people in the early 1900s. It often affects the lungs, causing a severe cough, fever, and weight loss. Starting in the late 1800s, the Saranac Lake welcomed thousands of tuberculosis patients from around the world. Health seekers enjoyed the restorative effects of fresh air on specially built cure porches. Saranac Lake's TB industry declined in the 1950s when antibiotics made the “fresh air cure” obsolete. TB is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Listen to the first hand accounts of individuals whose lives were affected by tuberculosis. These excerpts are taken from longer interviews; to listen to the full interview, click on the interviewee's name on the list to the right. Scroll down to browse the entries from the "My TB Story" cards collected at the Saranac Laboratory.