Originally recorded on November 19th, 2023, Jessica’s Sealey’s lecture Monstrous Instruments: The Vaginal Speculum and the Contagious Diseases Acts Repeal Movement is now available for viewing on the Museum of Health Care’s YouTube Channel. … More MARF 2023 Lecture Recording and Manuscript Now Available
This project brings together a history of the object with examples drawn from the Museum of Health Care’s collection, alongside a critical examination of repealer writing on Contagious Diseases Acts’ medical examinations and the instrument of the speculum. … More 2023 Margaret Angus Research Fellowship Lecture
The “thing in petticoats” the author describes is an unnamed female nurse who attended patients and aided the military physician at the Flora Lane inspection office. Reportedly, as the widow “entered the surgeon’s den, weeping,” the attending nurse (or “thing in petticoats”) told her “not ‘to take it to heart so.’” While it may appear that this particular nurse was being singled out for her cruelty and dismissiveness toward her patients, the article in its entirety presents a surprisingly scathing attack on all the female nurses who participated in the CD Acts medical examinations. … More “A Thing in Petticoats” Nurses and the Contagious Diseases Acts of Britain
You can now listen to an audio recording of this blog post. Click play to listen. Content Warning: This article contains information that some readers may find upsetting, including discussions of misogyny, racism, and non-consensual medical procedures related to women’s health. Disclaimer: For the purposes of this blog post, the term “women” refers to persons … More Women’s Health as a Symbol of Autonomy
Where did smallpox and its many less famous cousins come from?
Molecular anthropologists Dr. Ana Duggan and Dr. Hendrik Poinar from the Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University are working on answering this exact question. The Museum of Health Care is delighted to be McMaster University’s latest partner in this exciting new research project. … More MHC newest partner in exciting Ancient DNA Centre project
the landscape of gynaecology changed dramatically during the nineteenth century. Along with experimentation, research, and increasing knowledge came innovation in techniques and technologies until, for better or worse, the Victorian gynaecologist had a veritable arsenal of tools at their disposal. Drawing primarily from the Museum of Health Care’s collection, this blog post examines some of the medical instruments that helped change the face of gynaecology in the nineteenth century, many of which are still in use in some variation today. … More Nineteenth-Century Gynaecology: A History in Objects
Over the last 4 years, I have dedicated my time to researching and writing about the Contagious Diseases Acts of Britain (CD Acts) (1864-1886). Despite being an important moment in medical, military, and feminist history, the CD Acts have become a relatively forgotten phenomenon. In my conversations with curious friends and family over the years, most have been shocked to learn that the British government once detained women accused of prostitution, forcing them to undergo invasive vaginal examinations to search for signs of venereal disease. … More Prostitution Regulation and Public Health: The Contagious Diseases Acts of Britain
The Museum of Health Care at Kingston has installed a new temporary exhibit, with Rockwood as the first subject.
Colloquially known as Rockwood, the city’s first psychiatric hospital has had many names over the years. With artifacts, panels, and even supplementary media links, this small exhibit provides a short overview of the hospital’s history from its beginning all the way to closure. … More Rockwood Asylum featured in new exhibit at the Museum of Health Care
The Museum of Health Care’s Sick City Outdoor Guided Walking Tours have returned for the summer!
Walk in the footsteps of some of Kingston’s earliest residents and arrivals as they engage in a quest for health care in the Limestone City. The stories of the establishment of one of Canada’s oldest public hospitals, Kingston General Hospital, and Queen’s School of Medicine are full of success and sacrifice, triumph and tragedy. Join us for a fascinating look into the lives of those that lived, arrived and died here, as we unlock the secrets of Kingston’s medical history. … More Sick City: Unlocking the Secrets of Kingston’s Medical History
If you wanted to get blotto and you knew your onions, it was duck soup to go to a croaker and dip the bill without resorting to a blind tiger. … More Prescription for Getting Owled: Prohibition and the Medical Establishment