A Mere Appendix: Pioneering Surgery in Grand Valley Ontario

the following blog post was written by Museum of Health Care Curator Maxime Chouinard    The appendix represents quite a mystery. For many years it was believed to be a vestige of our distant ancestors; the trace of a cecum, a part of many animals large intestine.[1] This theory was put forward by Charles Darwin, … More A Mere Appendix: Pioneering Surgery in Grand Valley Ontario

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

Snakes, Mistakes, and Mythology! The Use of the Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus in Modern Medicine

The following blog post was written by 2014 Collections Technician Katrin MacPhee* While handling an artifact from the Museum’s collection, a familiar sight piqued my curiosity. Stamped onto a pin awarded by the Canadian Medical Association was a snake coiled around a staff. I had seen the same symbol on the badges of emergency health … More Snakes, Mistakes, and Mythology! The Use of the Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus in Modern Medicine

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

The Humble Toothbrush’s Extravagant Past

*the following guest blog was written by Brendan Cull, 2013 Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Health Care.  Oral hygiene and beauty have been interlinked throughout history. Since ancient times, people have attempted to clean their teeth to reduce or eliminate the pain and embarrassment of tooth decay while also working towards a perfect smile. … More The Humble Toothbrush’s Extravagant Past

Grin and Bear It: Toothache Day and Why It Was Best to Avoid the Dentist in the Ancient World

*The following blog post was written by Curatorial Assistant Varsha Jayaraman February 9th marks Toothache Day, a day to celebrate…toothaches?  Much like many strangely-named holidays, the origin and reason for this one is unknown.  Some speculate that perhaps this celebrates the feast day of St. Apollonia, the patroness of dentists.  She was seized during a … More Grin and Bear It: Toothache Day and Why It Was Best to Avoid the Dentist in the Ancient World