Hospital Chair

Wheelchair, manufacturer EDCO of Passaic, New Jersey, United States, ca. 1950. Canada Science and Technology Museum, artifact no. 1991.0224. Used in Hôpital de L’Assomption, Grand Falls, New Brunswick.

Canadian cities and towns began to build new, more complex hospitals in the1890s. But staff needed to transport patients between departments. The wheelchair was the solution designed to meet the hospital’s needs. The nursing sister described this chair with pride as the “Cadillac” of their hospital, pointing to its size, its comfort, and its stainless steel. It was an important piece of hospital furniture but not an assistive device for independence.