terpsichorean consumptives are not received


In Edwardian times the patronage of invalids was not enough to keep Health Resorts financially viable so many hotels that previously advertised themselves as having healthful characteristics began to promote more boisterous pleasures such as singing booths, oyster saloons, variety theatres and dancing palaces.


In the late 1890s a guest at a resort could cough without any notice being taken, but with the dawn of the new century, even a suspicion of a cough or sneeze caused complaints to managers.


Hoteliers sought to protect themselves by advertising that “consumptives are not received” though they stopped short of demanding medical certificates from arriving guests.

Modern Mechanix had an interesting theory about dancing and daylight saving and the relationship these things had to consumption


the only good thing about consumption was that it came with attractive accessories like this pocket sputum flask found here


you certainly wouldn’t want to mistake it for a hip flask though…….

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 6:37 am  Comments (29)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://nursemyra.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/terpsichorean-consumptives-are-not-received/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

29 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. *cough* *cough*

    I wonder why all the great heroines of Opera were consumptive. Annoyingly regular condition there.

  2. it was believed to have given one a heightened sex drive too. at one stage it even had a romantic connotation (Keats, Gauguin, Mansfield, Chopin)nothing romantic about coughing up blood though….

  3. Offering your pocket sputum flask as a hip flask to an unsuspecting friend … what a great practical joke!

  4. Eeeeewwww…..

  5. I like the similarity of the words ‘consumption’ and ‘consumerism’ – if someone was really clever they could do a very witty comparison ………

  6. I could take all the blood, gunshot wounds, puke, whatever they could throw at me, but the one thing that would always make me gag was emptying out that wall suction. I swear. Nothing worse than that bucket.

  7. yeah a lot of people feel like that. Puke is the thing I can’t handle. Just a whiff is enough to make me toss my cookies instantly

  8. ewww … I wonder what illnesses they thought carnal heavy breathing brought on?

  9. I usually managed to keep my cookies, much to my mother’s amazement, but just barely for the aformentioned things. However, when I worked at Teeny Tiny Hospital, I swear about half our male patients were tobacco chewers. Emptying the spittoons would have me retching. The other thing was folks that vomited up old blood from ulcers. I was puking right along with them.

    tobacco chewers? I’ve only read about them, didn’t know people still did that in first world countries

  10. Soon enough the Library will sound like a TB ward as it does every winter… Nasty.

  11. I don’t think I know anyone who carries a hip flask (for booze or anything else). I owned one once but I wasn’t in the habit of trucking booze along with me.

  12. I had a hip flask for attending evening sporting events. It sometimes got quite cold and a quick sip of brandy – for medicinal purposes only – could work wonders.

  13. “evening sporting events” Hmmm….. why do I think that sounds more sophisticated than it actually is

  14. hip flask is a magical thing – i have one that i used to use for travel. until our transportation security laws made life on the road suck worse… the thought of trying to fill it with loogies? i have a hard enough time pouring in the booze…

  15. you just pour the booze straight in the mouth daisyfae 🙂

  16. The first thing I always think of when the topic turns to tuberculosis is the movie Tombstone where Val Kilmer is consumption-strickened Doc Holiday. It’s a Tag Larkin-like performance.

    “I’m your huckleberry.”

  17. Um. What an interesting conversation.

    My 82 year old grandmother caries a hip flask of brandy to horse races in Sydney. God bless her.

    you have a grandmother in sydney? Maybe she has friends at the Gimcrack – we’re not that far from Randwick racecourse….

  18. Is “oyster saloon” a euphemism?

  19. dancing is good .. I agree that lack of sleep brings on illness as the body’s defences lower….but 70s has had her TB jab so can dance into the wee small hours 😉

    not sure I can do burlesque but would give it a go lol

  20. “singing booths”? they had karaoke even back then, huh?

  21. could be a euphemism 🙂

  22. Now that’s just strange, Nursy

  23. Hey,

    Ah Randwick…

    My wife is Australian and we lived there for two years sponging off family (we now live in canada)
    My wife’s grandparents are the oldest living members of the Sydney Turf Club and go to Randwick often… along with Canterbury and Rosehill. I miss going to the races.

  24. I live at Bronte. Have you been there too?

  25. Why would you want to save your sputum.

  26. it’s more about not grossing anyone out by having them see you spit blood streaked hoik everywhere. and keeping the germs contained too.

  27. oh come on Nurse… that can’t be the reason.

  28. Yes, Nursie, tobacco chewers persist in the third world part of this country, egged on by NASCAR drivers and baseball players. And you must remember this was nearly 40 years ago, too. I never got it, myself. Lung cancer was bad enough, but the damage that head and neck cancer could leave was unbelievable.

  29. Bronte – Nice!
    My sis-in-law use to live in Bondi so we would sometimes walk over to Bronte.
    We have an aunt who lives in Coogee as well.

    You live in a great part of town!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: