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‘Medicine on the Maumee’ exhibit to examine history of health care in region

Clara Church, 8 years old, tetanus, Jan. 29, 1859. Chris Fall, 35 years old, laborer, drinking ice water, May 15, 1860. John Ayers, 32 years old, bad whiskey, June 3, 1863. Theodore Hansen, 27 years old, soldier, starved in Rebel prison, April 3, 1865. Ada Meeker, 1 year old, cholera infantum, Sept. 24, 1865. Susanna H. James, housewife, 23 years old, typhoid fever, Jan. 23, 1866.

These brief entries recorded in the pages of the Record of Deaths in the City of Toledo are more than just statistics. Individually, they hint at lives tragically cut short. Collectively, they tell the story of the difficulties of survival in Toledo in the middle of the 19th century, and the state of medical care in the city at the time. 

The exhibition titled “Medicine on the Maumee: A History of Health Care in Northwest Ohio” will open Thursday, March 1, at 3 p.m. in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections in The University of Toledo’s Carlson Library. The free, public exhibit traces the history of medicine in our community from the earliest years of settlement to current day. It looks atepidemics that devastated the population, hospitals that sought to cure, doctors and nurses who provided care, and at how medicine became an industry.

“While the medical history of northwest Ohio is probably not unique in any of these aspects, how medicine was practiced locally has had a profound impact on who and where we are as a community today,” said Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center and coordinator of the exhibition. “That is because the medical history of a community is a mirror of its social, political, economic and cultural history. Medical history focuses attention on what a community does and does not do to promote the most basic of civic responsibilities — the chance to live a healthy life.”

In addition to items from the Canaday Center’s holdings, the exhibit will incorporate articles borrowed from many local organizations, including Mercy, Mercy College, ProMedica, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library. The exhibit will present a unique opportunity to see rare medical history-related items that are not likely to be brought together again in a single exhibit.

The exhibit will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment through Dec. 28. Group tours also can be arranged.

“Medicine on the Maumee” will be accompanied by an “Anatomical Art: The Internal Beauty of the Human Body” exhibit of anatomical specimens and medical illustrations.

Media Coverage
The Independent Collegian (March 1, 2012)
The Blade (March 11, 2012)

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