The use of the Pneumatic Cabinet marks a new era in the treatment of lung diseases. Until within about thirty years, pulmonary consumption was almost universally regarded as an incurable disease. Indeed, it was only the occasional discovery of fibrous or cicatricial tissue and of calcareous masses in the lungs of patients who had died of other diseases, and in whose lungs there were no evidences of any recent inflammatory processes, that gradually led the medical world to believe that consumption could ever be cured. Yet still the fact remained that the vast majority of patients with destructive lung diseases died. The possibility of a cure being, however, conclusively established, the causes of these diseases began to be more carefully studied, with the hope of finally discovering some treatment directed to the removal of these causes.
Many have been the methods advised—the internal administration of wood naphtha, cod-liver oil, phosphate
SMITH WE. THE RATIONAL TREATMENT OF PULMONARY DISEASES BY THE PNEUMATIC CABINET.. JAMA. 1885;V(20):539-541. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391190007001d