One of my favorites is the assertion that pulmonary tuberculosis infections could be cured or at least walled off by exposure to lots of light combined with fresh air and a nutritious diet. I remember seeing, in the ‘40s, pictures of a sanitarium with patients who were clothed so as to expose their skin to light in long rooms one wall of which was essentially a large window. (Google Images)
I believe that the word ‘sanitarium’ was coined for these medical facilities.
The US state of Arizona used to advertise to lure patients for treatment with Tucson as the sanitarium capitol. Many patients exhausted most of their savings and arrived in Arizona will little or no money and lived in tent cities.
This all collapsed after the discovery in the mid ’40s that the streptomycin was an effective treatment.
Author: , Ecologist at Federal Government Research Laboratory