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The history of sanatoriums and surveillance

In the early 20th century, a new form of treatment for tuburculosis emerged in Europe and North America. Sanatoriums were a hybrid between a hospital and a resort, built to maximise patients’ exposure to sunlight and clean air. Their bright, open spaces influenced both healthcare and modern architecture. But a darker aspect of sanatorium care, as Sadie Levy Gale discovered, was the extent to which TB patients were monitored and policed during their stay.

Words by Sadie Levy Gale

  • In pictures

About the author

Black and white photograph of a young white woman with shoulder-length hair looking straight at the camera

Sadie Levy Gale


Sadie Levy Gale is a PhD student at Cardiff University’s school of Journalism, Media and Culture. Her research focuses on healthcare, the built environment and national identity in 20th-century British photojournalism.