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.

"A Challenge: Will You Help?"

“A Challenge: Will You Help?”, pamphlet (Halifax, N.S.: W.H. Macnab and Son, 1946). Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Library, special collections.

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.

Callow Bus

Callow bus in operation in 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo by permission of Callow Wheelchair Bus Foundation,