“Something Permanent for the Country”: The Sir Oliver Mowat Memorial Tuberculosis Sanatorium

An often overlooked part of Kingston’s rich medical history, the Sir Oliver Mowat Memorial Tuberculosis Sanatorium, or simply the Mowat Sanatorium, enjoyed an important, if short-lived, role in the fight against tuberculosis in Canada. … More “Something Permanent for the Country”: The Sir Oliver Mowat Memorial Tuberculosis Sanatorium

Pandemic of Past and Present

Canada is no stranger to the threat of large infectious disease outbreaks. Throughout history, people on the land we now call Canada experienced numerous diseases that threatened their ways of life. Cholera, Tuberculosis, 1918 Influenza, Polio, Scarlet Fever, Yellow Fever, Diphtheria, SARS, MERS – to name a few. The way we manage COVID-19 is largely based on what we have done in the past. While our strategies may have evolved and our personal protective equipment may be more effective than other PPE used in the past, there are some things that remain common factors in preventing the spread of disease. Just like the Influenza of 1918, we rely largely on warning signs, mask wearing, and quarantines during COVID-19 to stay safe. … More Pandemic of Past and Present

Monaural Stethoscope (From the Collection #6)

The Story In 1816, a French physician named René Laennec invented a non-invasive tool for “looking into the chest.” His inspiration came during an awkward encounter with a young woman suffering from symptoms of heart disease. To preserve her modesty and spare himself the embarrassment of placing his ear directly on her chest to listen … More Monaural Stethoscope (From the Collection #6)

Heart and Lung Machine (From the Collection #5)

The Story The creation of a functional heart and lung bypass machine in the early 1950s was a milestone in the history of heart surgery. Prior to WWI, the average survival rate for heart operations was less than forty percent. Twentieth-century technological innovations such as the invention of x-ray machines, the discovery of anti-coagulants, and … More Heart and Lung Machine (From the Collection #5)

Cardio Pacemaker (From the Collection #4)

The Story Many medical discoveries of the late 19th century contributed to the creation of the artificial pacemaker. By 1900, cardiac specialists knew that the heart was a muscle which contracted steadily in order to pump blood throughout the body, and were also aware of the effects that electricity produced in muscle tissues, namely contraction.[1] … More Cardio Pacemaker (From the Collection #4)

Seton Needle (From the Collection #3)

The Story Seton needles first became popular in the 15th century as a means of producing counter-irritation. This approach to medical treatment believes that the creation of a superficial irritation on the body, through such means as cupping, blistering, or the use of seton needles, will distract the body from other irritations, reducing the primary … More Seton Needle (From the Collection #3)

Scarificator (From the Collection #2)

The Story By the 19th century, the scarificator was an essential tool in the practice of bloodletting. First developed in the early 1700s as a more humane and efficient bloodletting instrument than lancets and fleams, scarificators had multiple blades that shot out with the press of a spring-loaded lever creating an instantaneous series of parallel … More Scarificator (From the Collection #2)

Lebenswecker (From the Collection #1)

The Story Carl Baunscheidt (1809-1873), a German mechanic and inventor, first produced the lebenswecker in 1848. Translated most directly as “life awakener”, the lebenswecker is comprised of six parts (a wooden cap, head cover, shaft, and plunger, and a metal needle head and spring), and is used to pierce the skin without drawing blood. Baunscheidt … More Lebenswecker (From the Collection #1)

Activities at Home #4: Infection Inspection (Grades 7-8)

Apply knowledge of bacterial and viral infections, and demonstrate how immunization can effectively limit the spread of illness and contribute to overall community safety. Learn of ongoing healthcare issues including the spread of vaccine misinformation, and critically analyze health claims using substantiated evidence. … More Activities at Home #4: Infection Inspection (Grades 7-8)

Activities at Home #4: Infection Inspection (Grades 9-11)

Apply knowledge of bacterial and viral infections, and demonstrate how immunization can effectively limit the spread of illness and contribute to overall community safety. Learn of ongoing healthcare issues including the spread of vaccine misinformation, and critically analyze health claims using substantiated evidence. … More Activities at Home #4: Infection Inspection (Grades 9-11)

Creating an Outdoor Walking Tour

This summer, I had the opportunity to complete a thorough revamp of the Outdoor Tour program that the Museum has offered for many years. It was a long and tedious but ultimately rewarding process. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful or interesting to others to explain how I went about the project to transform a few abstract ideas into a polished Museum product, ready for the public to enjoy for years to come. … More Creating an Outdoor Walking Tour