Evidence of tuberculosis bacteria have been found in human remains dating back as far as ancient times. But in the early 20th Century, as American cities grew and the urban poor were tightly packed into dense and airless tenements, the disease ravaged the population. Before the discovery of a pharmaceutical cure, the only way tuberculosis could be treated was with fresh air and exercise. To combat the spread of the disease, health departments across the country embarked on a sweeping campaign to raise awareness about ways in which tuberculosis was spread and what could be done to avoid contracting it.
All images courtesy Library of Congress.