Anti-tuberculosis play at Lyric Theatre, 901 E. Broad Street, Richmond, Va.


Valentine Cook_Anti-TB_Show 1921 rsz.jpg


Anti-tuberculosis play at Lyric Theatre, 901 E. Broad Street, Richmond, Va.


French bacteriologists Albert Calmette (1863–1933) and Camille Guérin (1872–1961) finalized the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for tuberculosis in 1921. The vaccine remains the only tuberculosis vaccine in use today. While not perfect, it is one of the most widely used vaccines and reaches more than 80 percent of all children in countries where the disease is common.

The BCG vaccine was a major weapon in public health efforts to fight tuberculosis—an ongoing battle dramatized by Richmond children in this 1921 play. In this panoramic photograph, a "Modern Health Crusader" brandishes a sword shaped like the double-barred cross that was the emblem of the crusade. The crusader carries a "Modern Health Crusader" shield and fights "Tuberculosis" who is dressed all in black. 

The Modern Health Crusaders campaign was devised by Charles De Forest of the National Tuberculosis Association.


Cook, Huestis P. (photographer)


Cook Collection, The Valentine




The Valentine


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Learn more:
Chores of Modern Health Crusaders, Social Welfare History Image Portal
The Modern Health Crusade. A National Program of Health Instruction in Schools, Internet Archive
Stamping out tuberculosis with Christmas Seals. University of Virginia. Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Tuberculosis, Social Welfare History Project



Cook, Huestis P. (photographer), “Anti-tuberculosis play at Lyric Theatre, 901 E. Broad Street, Richmond, Va.
,” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed February 19, 2019,