(Producer) This silent footage shows not only tuberculosis patients but also healthy children being institutionalized to prevent them from contracting tuberculosis and other diseases. The film opens with aerial shots in 1926 of the South Mountain Restoration Center in South Mountain, Pennsylvania including the tuberculosis hospital, children's hospital, patient huts, open air pavilions for patient sun bathing, staff golf course, and patient burial ground. It also shows close up exterior shots of huts, hospital, chapel, patient store (interior as well), nurses home, and the burning of the auditorium. The film documents therapies such as adult tuberculosis patients sun bathing in skimpy clothing on the floor of a deck with hospital attendants monitoring their behavior. Another therapy shown includes patients sitting with their mouths open, holding small mirrors to reflect the sunlight into their mouths. Well but undernourished children (called "Fresh Air Kids") who come to the Center for the summer to gain better health are shown arriving at the center in buses, getting physical exams, and having their hair shaved, playing on playground equipment designed to optimize exercise, sunbathing with a single, long cloth covering the faces of tens of children, picnicking, hiking in formation, waiting in line to get a drink of milk, participating in formal flag lowering ceremonies, boxing (both male and female children), and leaving in buses and trains. Children hospitalized due to undernourishment or other diseases like pneumonia are shown sleigh riding, throwing snow balls, having their hands inspected in their dormitory, at recreation time with doll making and board games, swinging, and playing jacks. Nurses are shown in formation walking down the steps of their home, playing on swings, and with patients, taking their temperatures, inspecting hands, etc. African-American children are shown in this film.
The National Library of Medicine believes this item to be in the public domain. (More information)
Black and white
Received: 1988 as a donation from the South Mountain Restoration Center.