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Online Exhibit

Previous Exhibit

April to August 2021: Bringing History to Life Through Photographs 

August 2021 to December 2021: Art at the Museum
2022: The Painter's Case

October Feature 

Click the Image of Kemp's Funeral Home Death Records to view Amherstburg's mortician death records between 1885  and 1911. These records include name, date, and age.

Medical History Exhibit,  Amherstburg Ontario
1796 - 1950

We would like to thank Canada Summer Jobs for making the creation of this exhibit possible; we would also like to thank our donors (past, present, and future) for entrusting our museum with the preservation of your donated objects. Finally, thank you to our summer students, Emily and Mikayla for their work creating the content of this exhibit .

Medicine in the Victorian era was a period of further dynamic change and scientific discovery. Throughout the Scientific age, many new advancements had been made in terms of a more sophisticated scientific practice. New practices had been introduced, such as germ theory, sanitation, vaccination, anesthetics, et cetera, which all promised more positive patient outcomes. Take a look below at a selection of medical artifacts from the museum's collection.

Dr Park Circa 1888.jpg

Click the Image of Dr. Park to view the biographies of all Amherstburg's Doctors 1796 - 1950

Dr. Theodore James Park, "Dr. Jim"

Dr. Theodore Park (Jr.) of the Park House Museum believed in the science behind medicine. He believed in the new practices and discoveries, in which many of the changes took place during his years of practice. Dr. Park was born on April 19, 1856, as the second child of Theodore Jones Park and Caroline Kevill Park in the Park House. He completed his education in Toronto with a Ph.D. in medicine and residency at the Toronto General Hospital. He then returned to Amherstburg to open his own practice inside the Park House. He lived in the Park house for the majority of his life, where he would open his general practice in 1880. Though Dr. Park never owned the house himself, as it was passed from his mother to his three sisters, he continued living in the home with them and using it as the base for his medical office. Dr. Park specialized in obstetrics and delivered many of the local children, as well as receiving a certificate in conditions of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Additionally, he played a significant role in public safety during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. His practice operated for 56 years, and Dr. Park later died on January 1st, 1936.

Dr. Theodore James Park's Medical Certificate 

Dr. Theodore James Park's University Notebook

Doctor's Bag

Whether assisting patients in their office space or taking house calls to aid patients, doctors used cases to carry what they may require. The cases held various tools, from prescription medicine or bandaging to tools used in treating ailments.

Doctor's Scalpel, Blades, Scoop Spoon, and case

These items were used in surgical procedures. The Scalpel, with the curved blade, would be used to cut, while the scoop spoon (below case)  is used in retrieving bone marrow.


Bloodletting was commonly used for various ailments to remove an issue from the bloodstream, or resolve ‘balance’ within the bloodstream. These bloodletting fleams were used in opening up the patient's bloodstream, usually from the inside of the elbow, to supposedly rid them of, or aid them in, a given ailment. The practice of bloodletting has since become less common moving into modern medicine.

Tonsil Guillotine

An earlier version of the Tonsil Guillotine was used in removing tonsils (a Tonsillectomy). Functioning as a guillotine, using the right end as the handle, the loops on the left end move as a blade, used to cut the tonsil.

Catgut Sutures 

Often mistaken to be from the gut of a cat, catgut sutures were made from the intestines of animals such as sheep, goat, cattle, et cetera. They were one of the first forms of a dissolvable suture, as they did not need to be removed. Instead, they would completely absorb into the body within 90 days. They began to appear in approximately 1600 BC and became mass produced in 1887 (by Johnson & Johnson). They are still used in some surgical procedures today, as they are made from completely natural materials.

Druggist and Chemists

Click on the image of James Lushington to view the presentation on Lushington Medical Hall and  CMS Thomas' Drug Store. 

James Stewert Lushington in Hat.JPG

James Lushington

Medicine Bottles

Malden Lunatic Asylum

Established in 1859, the Malden Lunatic Asylum treated approximately 200 patients with 35 employees, all located in the current Fort Malden.
"It was not until the province of Canada West acquired the fort grounds, and opened the Malden Lunatic Asylum in 1859, that new construction began. Existing structures were renovated to house the patients and staff. New facilities were added, including a two-storey brick laundry." 


Dr. Andrew Fisher

B. 1832 D. 1898

Dr. Fisher became the superintendent of the Asylum and afterward opened his own practice in Amherstburg. He kept his office on Dalhousie Street above one of the W.T. Wilkinson homes. 


Dr. Henry Landor

D. 1877

Medical superintendent of the Malden Lunatic Asylum and was moved to the new London Asylum after it was built.

Dr. Andrew Fishers' Notebook 

Diseases in Amherstburg 

Diseases were a great cause for concern in the Victorian Era whereas they did not have the same modern treatments and research available as we do today. The science of medicine has experienced extreme growth since the Victorian era, and we have been able to learn from our history and experiences of the past. Below is a selected list of diseases that affected Amherstburg residents in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 


  • August 1849 - concerns grew in Amherstburg over its presence

  • Caused by contaminated water



  • Non-contagious, infectious disease transmitted by mosquitos


  • 1918: Influenza Epidemic

  • Killed more people than World War I

  • Appears to subside in Amherstburg around November

  • Virus was spread by international travel

Yellow Fever

  • Caused by bad drinking water


  • Caused by bacteria. Can affect any part of the body, but the lungs is the most common.


  • Caused by a parasitic bacterium that lives in ticks

Typhoid Fever

  • Caused by milk, water, or soiled food contaminated with the feces of a typhoid victim


  • Oct. 27, 1899: A worker at Henry Laforest’s Lakeshore is believed to have smallpox, and the place is quarantined

  • An airborne virus.

  • The first major disease to be wiped out by public health measures.

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