Image of the Week

This postcard was mailed 116 years ago this week, and is representative of an important collection that is now fully digitized and available online. The Florence Wright Tuberculosis Postcard Collection provides an intimate look at the lives of the TB patients who came to Saranac Lake in search of a cure between the 1880s and 1950s. This 136-card collection has been cataloged, transcribed and digitized, and is now available to browse for free on HSL’s PastPerfect Online Collections Database here: https://tinyurl.com/WrightPC. Patients were often only allowed to write a single postcard a day in order to maintain their strength, so these cards contain intensely personal news about their physical and mental health. These cards report on accommodations, weight gain, activities, relationships, and even deaths. They contain messages of hope, excitement, sadness, and of course, loneliness, like this card postmarked Sept. 21, 1906, with the simple message, “Rather lonesome.” The Florence Wright Tuberculosis Postcard Collection is a passion project assembled by Florence Wright over more than 20 years, and donated to Historic Saranac Lake in 2021! Florence became an avid stamp and Christmas Seal collector in retirement, and started to notice these missives from TB patients and their families at stamp shows. She began collecting cards that showed TB sanatoria and cure cottages, especially ones with messages relating to TB treatment. We are so grateful to Florence for her thoughtful donation to our organization, and hope that you learn as much as we have by exploring them. (Photo provided — Historic Saranac Lake)


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