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img001How this bottle ended up in the collection is through donation. It was donated with several other objects belonging to local nurse Myrtle (Branton) Akins. Myrtle Akins was a resident of Adelaide Township, Ontario. Myrtle was a part of the Strathroy Nursing School and graduated in 1942. She worked as a nurse at SMGH until 1949/1059 when she got married. The medicine bottle most likely belonging to or was used by Myrtle. She was married to George Orland Akins; the two had several children and grandchildren.

This medicine bottle once held Penicillin Sodium (Crystalline) G. This was a white powder used to reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria. It was injected or given by intravenous. It should only ever be given if the infection is caused (or strongly thought to be caused) by bacteria.

The penicillin was manufactured by Henry K. Wampole & Co Ltd. The company was based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. In 1905 the company moved into Canada and opened up a factory in Perth, Ontario in 1906. The company was established in the 1870s by Henry K. Wampole, and in 1978 both Albert Koch and S. Ross Campbell joined the company. The penicillin in this bottle was made sometime after the factory opened in Perth though exact date is unknown.

The bottle itself is made of glass with a rubber stopper. It has an orange sticker on it which contains the information about what is inside and how it should be used. The glass was manufactured by T.C. Wheaton Glass Company (established by Theodore C. Wheaton) out of Millville, New Jersey, USA. The bottle has a trademark on the base reading T.C.W. Co U.S.A. Type III, the trademark of T.C.W. Co was used from 1900-1960. The bottle could have been made anytime, though it is more likely to have been manufactured in the 1930s or 1940s as that is when Myrtle (Branton) Akins was in nursing.

Quilt to Boost Hospital Building Fund.  Strathroy Age Dispatch Negative Collection

Quilt to Boost Hospital Building Fund. Strathroy Age Dispatch Negative Collection

This month we are highlighting another quilt that is currently on display at the museum. It is a large quilt showing a map of Canada with a maple leaf border. It was made by Nancy Randall for a Strathroy Hospital fundraiser. It was raffled off for $300.
Nancy (aka Gramma Randall) was 80 when she made this quilt. It was her way of contributing to the building fund as whenever she was at the hospital she was “looked after as though [she was] a millionaire”. It was a labour of love and took her more than a year to complete. It was recognized at the Mary Hastings picnic where it took first prize in the over 70 age class before it was donated to the hospital in November of 1959.
The map of Canada has all 10 provinces, but only 2 territories. The two territories are the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories which is divided into two districts, the District of MacKenzie, and the District of Keewaten. Each province and territory has some of the industries, wildlife and cities that one might find there. Other interesting things to note include; Labrador not been labeled, most of the northern islands have been labeled (Baffin Island, Victoria Island, Banks Island, The Prince of Wales Island, Devon Island). Even though Nancy lived in Strathroy she did not include it on the map.
Nancy was known in the community for knitting mittens and gloves for the children. Over the years she was showcased in the local newspaper, The Strathroy Age-Dispatch for her milestone birthdays. In 1975 she was 95.

In honour of Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital’s 100 year anniversary, February’s Artifact of the Month is the original wheelchair from the Hospital.
Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital was born from the generosity and passion of local citizens who wanted excellent healthcare for their loved ones, close to home. Since the initial endowment from sisters Alicia Fulton Inch and Jane Fulton Dyer in 1908 and 1909 respectively, our local hospital has continued to receive generous support from the community.

The original hospital was located in a converted home, once known as the Manson House.  This building was located across the street from the present day hospital.
The “Inaugural Day” was held on Monday Feb. 9th 1914 when the public was invited to attend and inspect the building. It was stated that 500 townspeople turned out to tour the building. Later that week, on Feb. 14th the hospital was fully operational and had 7 patients.
The furnishings, nearly all of which were donated was published in The Age however, a wheelchair was one item that was still in need at the time. This particular wheelchair, with wood varnish and bamboo woven back, seat and leg rests, was the first wheelchair used at the Strathroy Hospital.


The original wheelchair from SMGH

Today wheelchairs are made to fold up, some include motors and some are even designed so that when confined to a wheelchair one can still play sports such as tennis, rugby and basketball.
The wheelchair has been around for centuries. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, wheelchairs had a much more basic purpose and a simpler design. Wire-spoke wheels, adjustable seat backs and moveable arm and foot rests were introduced to increase comfort. Wicker was the material of choice in the early 1900s as it produced a more lightweight chair then earlier iron models.
Another new feature were push rims, which allowed the person in the wheelchair to propel and steer themselves. This was combined with the handles which still allowed it to be pushed easily from behind.
For balance, a smaller third wheel was added beneath the wheelchair to prevent the chair from toppling backwards.
Our local hospital is a vital part of the social and economic growth of Strathroy-Caradoc.
Information from Museum Strathroy-Caradoc exhibit “Legacy of Care”

Clarence (Hoot) Gibson was a well-known Strathroy resident for those old and young.  On Monday November 15th 2010, he passed away at the age of 92.

Hoot onboard the HMCS Port Arthur

Just this year Hoot and his family donated a number of pieces to the museum. During WWII, he was a torpedo coxswain onboard the HMCS Port Arthur and the museum received Navy uniforms, photographs and other archival material related to the Hoot’s time during the War.  The museum was able to exhibit some of these items in time for Remembrance Day and he was able to come see the display.

Other items from his collection include Minstrel Show pieces, tambourines and bones, that were used during the theatrical productions.

He was also well known in Strathroy as the arena manager at the West Middlesex Memorial Centre  from 1953 to 1978 and as Santa.  To read more on this wonderful story see  Santa Hoot, by John Grogan and Michael Grogan.

Other items included a cape and cap from Strathroy General Hospital (now Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital) from his wife Amy (nee Handy), who graduated from the School of Nursing 1943.

Hoot will be missed.

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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