Perceptions of the character of tuberculosis changed between 1940 and 1970 following the application of new medical technologies and investigative methods in the diagnosis and tracing of the disease. This article examines how that change occurred through a survey of the epidemiological literature, principally relevant journals. It concludes that the new techniques replaced the old romanticized image of tuberculosis as a disease of youth with one centred on children and the old. There has been little research on tuberculosis in Britain since 1940, and none that explores the significant change in image which the disease has undergone since then. This article is a beginning.