At the turn of the 20th century, many tuberculosis sufferers made their way to the American Southwest. The high desert climate and air was advertised as a panacea. Modern Albuquerque was built by the railroad steam engine and the engine of tuberculosis.
Photoarchive exhibit features images of the tuberculosis sanatoriums of Albuquerque as well as the patients and health providers.
Chasing the Cure in New Mexico: Tuberculosis and the Quest for Health
This book tells the story of the thousands of "health seekers" who journeyed to New Mexico from 1880 to 1940 seeking a cure for tuberculosis (TB), the leading killer in the United States at the time. Nearly sixty sanatoriums were established around the state. By 1920, "lungers" as they were called, represented an estimated 10% of New Mexico's population. Many of them remained, playing a critical role in New Mexico 's growth and the struggle for statehood. Among New Mexico's prominent lungers were artists Will Shuster and Carlos Vierra, who "came to heal and stayed to paint."