The Story of Dudley Ward and his Dingbat Calendars

Remembered by so many for his fantastical creatures known as “Dingbats”, William Dudley Burnett Ward was an accomplished English-Canadian illustrator. His Dingbat characters, which combined cartoon art and surrealism, began appearing on advertising calendars for the Charles E. Frosst pharmaceutical company in 1915, and continued under different artists until they were discontinued in 1996 because it was decided that they represented unfair competition for other pharmaceutical brands. He also acted as an illustrator and cartoonist in England and Canada for many years. Today, in addition to the many Dingbat calendars in the collections of the Museum of Health Care, his works can be found in the National Gallery of Canada and the AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario⁠. … More The Story of Dudley Ward and his Dingbat Calendars

The Story of Dr. Grasett and the Typhus Epidemic

Dr. G. R. Grasett practiced in Amherstburg, Upper Canada (Ontario) and was Assistant Surgeon in the Royal Essex Light Infantry during the Upper Canada Rebellion. He fell ill with typhus within two weeks of working at the Emigrant Hospital, and passed away on July 16th, 1847, at the age of thirty-six. He was remembered as a compassionate, devoted doctor, and is commemorated today at Grasett Park in Toronto, which was built on the same spot where the fever sheds were, and is managed by the Canada Ireland Foundation. … More The Story of Dr. Grasett and the Typhus Epidemic

The History of Temporary Military Hospitals in Kingston

Kingston was especially hard-hit by these events compared to other towns. Even during a pandemic just over a hundred years ago, Kingston served the same role of regional health care centre as it did during the COVID pandemic. As the largest city between Ottawa and Toronto, Kingston’s healthcare facilities have always serviced a particularly large surrounding area. On top of this, Andrew Belyea, a previous Margaret Angus Research Fellow for the Museum, notes that Kingston was a military hub around the time of the First World War, with a very large number of soldiers stationed in or otherwise filtered through town (find his article here). This created a larger-than-expected need for hospital care when the war ended and soldiers began returning to Canada – a need that would be difficult to meet. … More The History of Temporary Military Hospitals in Kingston

The Story of John Williams the Oculis and his career in quackery

This was the advertisement in Kingston’s Chronicle and Gazette, which ran on October 20th, 1841, heralding the arrival of Mr. Williams. His visit to Kingston came near the end of his illustrious career in quackery, preceded by nearly forty years of travelling in Europe and the United States, treating patients and selling his so-called miracle cure for blindness. … More The Story of John Williams the Oculis and his career in quackery

Smallpox – A Short History of Vaccination (Part 2)

Janet Parker was the last person in the world to die from smallpox in 1978. She was working as a scientific photographer above one of the labs at Birmingham Medical School. The lab was working with smallpox and Parker contracted the disease on August 11th. She would die a month later.This event shook the world not only because the last smallpox case in the UK was 5 years prior, but because smallpox was on its way to being confined to the history books. … More Smallpox – A Short History of Vaccination (Part 2)