The Light Organ

Quick search for word ‘lung’ showed word origin came from words for light as in not heavy because lungs of animals would float in water. (Thesaurus.com)

Can you believe that symptoms of tuberculosis used to be thought of as glamorous in the late 18th and early 19th century? I read that recently in an article from Hyperallergic. Maybe it’s not hard to believe because people with anorexic appearance are sometimes admired nowadays. I thought I was reaching an end in my genealogical research but I am still learning a few things. Some sad things I have read are that people in those early days, 1800s to early 1900s, died of drowning, appendicitis, and tuberculosis sometimes called phthisis. Death certificates cited lack of medical care. People even died in workhouses. Many children died young. I thought some of my ancestors would have given up after losing a spouse or their children. Especially during the hard years before and during WWII in Europe. I later discovered that some remarried and had more children. To me this illustrates their courage and optimism.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt was ‘organ’, to pick an organ and write about it. Featured image of a painting by Edvard Munch of his sister Sophie who died of tuberculosis when he was 14.

4 thoughts on “The Light Organ

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      People had some hard times in their lives. I hated reading that some people were in workhouses. It was really sad about people dying so young too. Life can be a struggle and some people went through a lot.

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  1. Dan Antion

    I doubt we can really imagine what life was like. I remember my grandmother’s stories about growing up in Syria in the late 1800s and coming here in the very early 1900s at the age of 16. Married, bound for a new life at 16, yet grateful and optimistic.

    Liked by 2 people

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