Veterans Making Change Happen
In 1943, John Counsell, a World War II veteran with spinal cord damage, replaced his wood wheelchair with an Everest and Jennings chair. He gained so much mobility that he lobbied the Canadian government to buy 200 chairs for paralysis patients. This was E&J’s first large order putting the company on the road to market domination. Yet there were few further improvements in the form and function of the wheelchair until the 1980s.
During World War II, Walter Callow had fewer resources to make change happen but was determined to give paralyzed veterans and civilians mobility. Callow was paralyzed and blind from the aftereffects of a World War I airplane crash. From his Camp Hill hospital bed, he set up and staffed an office, raised funds, and brought into production his design for a wheelchair carrier bus. His design is still used today in Halifax.