Female Urinal (From the Collection #27)

The Story

Found in homes and hospitals, bedpans and urinals are practical aids for bedridden persons who cannot get up to use a toilet.  Over time ‘male’ and ‘female’ designs evolved that increased a patient’s comfort and ease of use.  Until the mid-twentieth century, student nurses training in hospitals had the necessary, but unpleasant job emptying and sterilising bedpans.

Before the late 1800s, bedpans could be made of pewter or brass and sometimes urinals were made of glass. Porcelain, china, and pottery were other materials employed.  By the early 1900s, medical supply catalogues offered lighter weight enameled metal utensils and by mid-century, stainless steel. The switch to plastics and other disposables took place in the 1960s.

This female urinal was owned by a doctor in Gananoque, Ontario.

The Specs

ACCESSION NUMBER / Link:997037176
Object Name:Female Urinal
Manufacturer (Country):Unknown
Date Made:circa 1937

About “From the Collection”

“From the Collection” was a project originally published in 2010 to the Museum of Health Care’s website by former Curator Paul Robertson, with the goal being to highlight some the Museum’s most unique items that might be missed in our collection. Each artifact is presented as a bite-sized story, related information, and a link to it’s fully detailed entry on our free online digital catalogue!

Posts in the “From the Collection” series were originally created with support from Funded by the Ontario Museums and Technology Fund. The support of the Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, is acknowledged.

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