"'TB is like living with a bomb in your lung' "
A free TB clinic in White Haven, Pennsylvania (probably early 20th. century)
Creative Commons AttributionA free TB clinic in White Haven, Pennsylvania (probably early 20th. century) - Credit: Otis Historical Archives (selected by Kathleen), Flickr
Tuberculosis (or TB) is a common, and often fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria which attack the lungs.

Its main symptoms are weight loss, fever, night-sweats, and the coughing up of blood-stained sputum.

It is believed that TB in America began at the time of Columbus, and by the turn of the twentieth century it was responsible for 10% of all deaths in the U.S.A..

The first American sanatorium was established at Saranac Lake in upper New York State by Dr. Edward Trudeau in 1886, and by 1938, there were 700 sanatoriums at different locations throughout the United States.

As mentioned previously, Dick Norton, on whom the character Buddy Willard is based, was treated at the Ray Brook Sanatorium in Saranac Lake.

The Ray Brook Sanatorium is now a medium-security prison known as the Adirondack Correctional Facility!