• Tuberculosis bacilla in sputum, Image in public domain.
  • Pocket Sputum Flask (1910), Museum of Health Care, #1969.253.1
  • "The Cure on the Veranda, 1903" Lantern Slide (1900-1930), Museum of Health Care, #1976.41.1
  • X-Ray Film (1953), Museum of Health Care, #996015501
  • Bethune Pneumothorax Apparatus (1940-1949), Museum of Health Care, #1972.2.1
  • PMS-Isoniazid Tablets Bottle (1990), Museum of Health Care, #1996.14.5
  • "Breathing Exercises, 1904" Lantern Slide (1900-1930), Museum of Health Care, #1976.41.1
  • Tuberculin Syringes (early-mid 20th century), Museum of Health Care
  • Portrait of Robert Koch (n.d), Museum of Health Care, #002050277//Amp593/L457
  • "1918 Early Days" Lantern Slide (1900-1930), Museum of Health Care, #1976.41.1
  • Rifadin Bottle (1990), Museum of Health Care, #1996.14.6
  • Christmas Seal " British Columbia Anti-Tuberculosis Society (n.d.), Museum of Health Care, #1976.37.1
  • Christmas Seal " Toronto Free Hospital (1918), Museum of Health Care, #1976.37.1
  • Christmas Seal " Tuberculous Veteran"s Association (1914-1918), Museum of Health Care, #1976.37.1
  • Portrait of Edward Livingston Trudeau (n.d.), Museum of Health Care, #L221/Amp144

Welcome to Fighting for Breath: Stopping the TB Epidemic.

Tuberculosis has plagued societies for thousands of years. Known at different times as phthisis (from the Greek meaning "wasting away"), consumption, and the White Plague, the name tuberculosis entered the lexicon in the 1830s, signaling a medical and scientific shift away from the outward signs and symptoms of the disease to its causes and internal actions. Despite considerable advancements in understanding and treatment over the 19th and 20th centuries, tuberculosis continues to plague society and consume the lives of too many.

You are invited to learn more about the current global epidemic of tuberculosis and its history by exploring this online exhibition. By navigating your way through the eight tabbed sections and their sub-sections, you can discover how tuberculosis can infect multiple locations in the body, how the medical understanding of the disease has changed over the centuries, and what "celebrities" from the past have been afflicted by TB. Through artefacts, images, and videos, you will learn about the different ways TB has been diagnosed and treated since the 1500s, as well as the varying ways we have attempted to stop the spread of the disease.

Become informed about how scientists, doctors, social advocates, and volunteers are fighting to stop TB today. Videos and case studies bring to life the reality of living with TB, from the stigma of the disease to the side-effects of drug regimens. New advances in vaccination development and treatments are also explored.

The objectives of this exhibit are to...

  • Increase awareness
    • about the ongoing and global fight against the spread of TB
    • about how TB is spread and how it affects the body
    • about the correlation between HIV/AIDS and TB
    • about the threat of the increased incidence of drug resistance
  • Inform visitors about the history and current practices of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis.
  • Demonstrate that with increased financial and structural resources tuberculosis is a highly treatable and curable disease.

We suggest that you navigate this exhibit by working your way through the tabbed sections from left to right.

An educational module on the history of tuberculosis and how the disease is currently being experienced around the world, linked to the Grade 5 Ontario provincial curriculum, is available online through this site.

Educational Section

With supporting funds from the City of Kingston and the United Way Community Investment Fund

United Way - Kingston, Frontenac Lennox and AddingtonKingston