When Nurse Monique Émard acquired this chair for her four-room hospital in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, sometime between 1935 and 1950, she bought the extras—springs, push rims, and bicycle ball bearings. Gendron recommended two rear stabilizer wheels for very heavy patients and to give a sense of stability for the “extremely nervous”. The adjustable back and leg rests allowed the chair to double as a gurney. It was a high-end convenience, but for whom?

Invalid Chair

Invalid chair, manufacturer Gendron Wheel Company, Toronto, Ontario , pre-1950. Canada Science and Technology Museum, artifact no. 1991-0223. Used in Hôpital d’Émard (Hôpital de L’Assomption), Grand Falls, New Brunswick.

The basic Gendron chair cost $19 in 1913; springs, brakes, push rims, and attendant push bar were extra. Was it a chair for sitting in or for moving?

Gendron Trade Catalogue

Gendron Trade catalogue,, ca. 1913. Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Library, special collections.