The doctor’s office, 50 + years ago

medical history

It all looks a little scary in light of what we recognize as a medical facility today.  But me, being old(er), I can remember these types of things in my doctor’s office when I was a kid.  You got your shots from a reusable, sterilized syringe and needle.  This type of white cabinets held a lot of scary looking stuff when you were little.

This step into our medical past is located at Shippensburg Historical Society,  Dr. Alexander Stewart was  responsible for us having his home to use to house  our collection, and also donated most of the items from his office when he stopped practicing in 1963. He went into  practice in 1920, was a general practitioner for a few years and then returned to school to study the new technology of the time:  radiology.  He was the first doctor to use x-rays at the Chambersburg Hospital.

His rates and those of another doctor of that time are on display.  These rates are for house calls; yes, the doctor came to your house……!

medical history



We have the doctor’s house call bag, as well as those of several other doctors who retired and gave their bags to us to preserve as history.

history of medicine


We also have various bottles with medicines  from drug stores of that era and before, including things from Altick’s Drug store, which was operating in town during the Civil War.

If you’re local, or coming  to Shippensburg, you should check out the many interesting displays of our local history at Shippensburg Historical Society.  We are open to the public Wednesday, Friday and Saturday afternoon from 1-4.

7 responses to “The doctor’s office, 50 + years ago

  1. Wow, what an interesting collection you have, I am glad you posted the photos.

  2. What wonderful captures! They bring back memories of when I was a kid. I remember when our family doctor made house calls! I haven’t thought about that in years.

    There is a doctor’s office/pharmacy at Mystic Seaport that is very interesting. They did a wonderful job recreating things exactly as they were in the 1800’s. I think it’s so important to preserve things like this.

    Great post! 🙂

    • Thanks Jackie. It is important to preserve these things, and I love our historical society and our local history. I’ll write some more stuff about our collection. Didn’t your doc have those white cabinets too? It was intimidating to go in there as a kid, and it smelled funny, lol.

      • Yup! Mine had those type of cabinets too. I loved my doctor but I hated going to his office. I’m looking forward to more posts on this collection. 🙂

  3. I’d love to see this display Nancy. Maybe I’ll just come to Shippenberg some day! Thanks for the history lesson 🙂 and glad to hear you are healing with your PT

    • It is a little scary Sam, looking at what medical treatment was during that time. Well yea, Sister Hippie, come on up here! But wait till summer.

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