Small communities might be fortunate enough to have a doctor in the neighbourhood while more remote settlers would need to make a long trip to fetch the doctor. Some doctors might have a horse and buggy to make house calls around the area. A doctor’s office would usually be a room in his house set aside for his medical books and to see patients. The tools available to a doctor could be intimidating to patients, but it was the only option available.
Electro Magnetic machines would be used to administer electric shock to patients in hopes of relieving all sorts of ailments like: paralysis, palsies, rheumatism, tumors, chilblains, inflammations, sprains and incontinence.
Some entrepreneurs took advantage of the vacuum in medicine and services and pedaled new products with claims of treating just about any ailment.
The greatest fear in a community was infectious disease. The ability to combat and stop the spread of disease was hampered by the lack of sanitary conditions available to people. Authorities would go to great lengths to stop and eradicate disease before it could wipe out a population. They took disease control very seriously.
When a family contracted a contagious disease, the entire home would be quarantined and the extreme measure of fumigating the premises would take place. The Museum has a Formaldehyde Generator Fumigation Device that was capable of delivering formaldehyde into a space through a long a pipe. This would be used to rid a room of infection. In some cases, following a serious infestation of disease, entire houses would be burned to the ground in an attempt to stop the spread of disease.
The medical display at the Middleville and District Museum has many interesting items on display. Information about local Doctors and Nurses is noted and several books about home remedies and general health advice in the early 1900's offer visitors a glimpse into early medicine. Drop by to check it all out.
This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.