Getting a Leg Up: A Brief History of Prosthetics through the lens of our collection

Though Ernest was a farmer, and—according to family—was not a particularly wealthy individual, he was lucky enough to acquire two full, well-made, advanced prosthetic legs. The history of an individual prosthetic limb can be difficult to trace, as good documentation is often lacking. The Museum of Health Care at Kingston has six prosthetic limbs in … More Getting a Leg Up: A Brief History of Prosthetics through the lens of our collection

Curative Architecture: The Healthful Design of Rockwood Asylum

In July of 1856 thirty-six acres of an estate west of Portsmouth Village, previously owned by politician John Cartwright, were purchased by the United Province of Canada East and Canada West. The intended purpose of the land? To become the home of a future asylum, intended to house both the “criminally insane” of Kington Penitentiary … More Curative Architecture: The Healthful Design of Rockwood Asylum

Treatments for Menstrual Cramps throughout History

The following blog post was written by Shaelagh Cull, Summer 2015 Public Programs Assistant .   “My pen cannot express the anguish and pain suffered by some women…”:[1] For many women, each month until menopause will bring with it a new menstrual cycle. Anywhere between twenty to ninety percent of women will experience painful cramping, … More Treatments for Menstrual Cramps throughout History

Mental Health: Tracing the History of Stigma

The following blog post was written by Abbey Cressman, Summer 2014 Public Programs Assistant   When researching ancient diseases, their symptoms, and treatments, I have often been struck by the correlation between the magnitude of lives lost and the health care standards of the time. I have read staggering statistics that throughout the nineteenth century, … More Mental Health: Tracing the History of Stigma

From Variolation to Cowpox Vaccination: The First Steps Towards Eradicating Smallpox

*The following blog post was written by Samantha Sandassie, Queen’s University PH.D candidate/teaching fellow Edward Jenner looms large in the history of vaccination.  Known today as the “father of immunology,” Jenner is most famous for developing a vaccine against smallpox in the 1790s.  The vaccine brilliantly made use of common knowledge.  Milkmaids were known for … More From Variolation to Cowpox Vaccination: The First Steps Towards Eradicating Smallpox

A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 3

*the following blog post was written by 2013 Margaret Angus Research Fellow Robert Engen As we saw in the last blog post, from a medical point of view the two military campaigns to capture the Dutch island of Walcheren – the first in 1809, the second in 1944 – could not have been more different. … More A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 3

A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 2

*the following blog post was written by 2013 Margaret Angus Research Fellow Robert Engen     Two of the most remarkable stories in military medical history happened in the exact same place: Walcheren, a strip of land that sits like a cork in the mouth of the Scheldt River running through the Netherlands and Belgium. … More A Fighting Chance: Disease, Public Health, and the Military, Part 2