Quarantine and Isolation: A Brief History of Public Health Measures Against Infectious Disease

“From isolation in the home to the closure of public spaces, history contains many pertinent lessons in the control of infectious disease.” By now, most of us are no strangers to the idea of quarantine. “Self-isolation” and “social distancing” have come to be the new normal for many people all over the world as we … More Quarantine and Isolation: A Brief History of Public Health Measures Against Infectious Disease

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

Good Air and Bad Air: The Importance of Ventilation

Considered by many as the founder of modern nursing, British social reformer Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was one of the most well-known female voices on health care in the 19th century. In this blog entry, I outline what Florence Nightingale believed was the most important consideration of nursing – the ventilation and good air of a patient’s room – and will explore how this advice recurs and develops in the ensuing forty years in home advice manuals. … More Good Air and Bad Air: The Importance of Ventilation

Domestic Nursing: An Introduction to Maintaining the Sick-Room

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: A Complete Cookery Book (1861) was perhaps the most well-known and referred-to home advice manual of its time. It was originally published in 24 separate parts from 1859 to 1861, and then compiled as a bound book in 1861, soon becoming a staple in most Victorian homes. … More Domestic Nursing: An Introduction to Maintaining the Sick-Room

Health Care in the Victorian Home

I am very excited to be able to research and share with you a topic I personally find fascinating – health in the Canadian home during the Victorian era. I will be using home advice manuals, written primarily by women authors, to explore how the day-to-day health of families did not primarily fall underneath the purview of the doctor or the midwife, but was left in the care of the mother of the home or the ‘Angel in the House’. … More Health Care in the Victorian Home

Funding Success for Museum Collection

We are excited to announce that Ontario’s Museums and Technology Fund has granted $15,000 to the Museum of Health Care for the development of a new feature on our website entitled “From the Collection”. To be developed over the next year, this page will include a series of short illustrated profiles for various objects, images, and documents drawn from the MHC collections. … More Funding Success for Museum Collection