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‘Stop kissing and steaming!’: tuberculosis and the occupational health movement in Massachusetts and Lancashire, 1870–1918

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2005

Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PT


Historians have argued that American social welfare reformers looked to Europe for examples of successful programmes. This article provides a counter-case where a progressive American state, Massachusetts, developed public health reforms prior to their British counterparts. Social concerns about reducing cases of tuberculosis in Massachusetts' cotton manufacturing cities led to the transference of the public health discourse from the urban living environment to the workplace. This same relationship could have been applied within the Lancashire industry. Instead, the urban public health discourse focused on living conditions. In both countries, local and state political structures influenced health campaigners' actions.

Research Article
2005 Cambridge University Press

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