A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Another freebie for you

This handsome fellow  (Freeman Webster) was my 
grandfathers brother,
b. Aug 1892 - d. May 1916 (of consumption)

I mentioned earlier that my mother was a patient in a hospital for tuberculosis (consumption) from 1938-1941.  She didn't talk about it much, but one thing I remember her saying was that they slept outside (on balconies) both winter and summer.  'Fresh air' was the only cure they seemed to know of in those days.  She said that many mornings she had to dig herself out from under a pile of snow.  Hard to imagine.

Even harder to imagine was the fact that only the more affluent patients were allowed to live in the main buildings.  If you were poor, you were placed in tents throughout the grounds.  It's no wonder the death rate was so high.  My mother never mentioned the tents (her memory was affected by a serious car accident when I was little), but I read a very interesting book about the hospital she was in and that's where I found the information about the tents.  

(btw - there were a couple of lovely comments that were left that I wanted to acknowledge...  first, thank you to V.E.(Wales) who left a very informative comment about how that sweater was made; and also to Gloria Elizabeth who suggested I find a book called 'The Plague and I' which is about the experience of having TB in the same time period as my mother.  I have put in a request for it through our local library and hopefully they can locate a copy for me. Thank you to you both - unfortunately you are both 'no reply' and I can't respond directly.)

This is another of the entries that are in the autograph book belonging to my mother.  This one is dated June 3, 1939...

Be reserved, but not sour;
Grave, but not formal;
Bold, not not rash; Humble, but not servile;
Patient, but not insensible;
Constant, but not obstinate;
Cheerful, but not light;
Rather be sweet-tempered than familiar;
Familiar rather than intimate,
and intimate with very few,
and upon good ground with all.


  1. I grew up in Margate, Kent, known for its bracing air ( read, howling gales) There, was the Royal Seabathing Hospital, a large, gracious Regency building, curved shape,with glass doors facing the sea. I remember patients being wheeled out to face the English channel, in their beds - poor buggers.
    I believe it is now being turned into rather posh apartments

  2. This was so interesting.... Thanks for posting it.

  3. Oh my! I can't imagine having to sleep outdoors in the snow to cure TB.
    At least she survived, probably with a lifetime of other health problems due to that?

  4. TB was still around when I was younger. My best friend had it and was sent to a hospital to recover. That was in the 1960's. I had a shadow on my lungs but it never came to anything. However I used to get a letter every year from some government agency up until I was 25 requiring me to go for an x-ray. If I didn't I would get fined.

  5. I'm betting most of them died of pneumonia.... what they had to endure. And, already sick... brother.

    My parents had a friend in a TB sanatorium here is Canada when we were kids. They used to drive over to visit him and we kids had to stay outside the car or racing around the grounds of the hospital. I still have a photo album that he made and gave to them as a gift....

    hey...stick pins in the pincushion.....I do in mine. They'll be fine. Karen's, my own and one from Heather ... Mrs. Naldie ...all have pins stuck in them... was she in any of your classes? She makes lovely cushions too....

  6. I had TB when I was a child - they picked it up at 12. I remember having to have regular x-rays and 6 huge tablets a day for 18 months. Glad I didn't have to sleep outside!! In the snow!!

  7. Wow. Thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine being ill and sleeping outdoors on snowy nights.

  8. I am really enjoying the quotes you have found in your mother's autograph book. I think they did put everyone outside for the fresh air when they had TB. Shocking really but at the time that was what they thought would do the most good! Christine x

  9. Your family photos are wonderful and thank you for sharing them wth us. It may sound like that TB facility took a very liberal approach to curing patients with outdoor air and snow. Very intense writings from your mother.

  10. Thoughtful writing, thanks for sharing. Real life isn't about things always going smooth.


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