Frontispiece of La Cuisinière Bourgeoise, an early 19th century Canadian manual

Written as a guide for those employed in the service of middle class households, this volume was one of the first in Canada to address the subject in a comprehensive manner. It includes information on basic foods such as meats, eggs and vegetables and provides extensive details on their preparation.

Menon
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
c. 1825
Quebec, CANADA
Manuel Frontpiece
TX 719 M45 1825 REF
© CHIN 2001


Popular household instruments often came in the form of literary sources and functioned as instructional tools for women. Primarily aimed at women of superior social status, these self-help manuals concerned diet, nutrition and medicine.

Many of these 19th century manuals written by and for women demonstrated changes in household technology and middle-class expectations at that time. Due to their high cost, however, domestic manuals, cookbooks and women’s magazines addressed a limited audience. They often remained in families for several generations as reference guides, as the information and advice they contained was passed on to friends and daughters.

As in Europe, domestic manuals published in North America dealt with issues related to cleanliness, the preparation of healthful food and drink, and the care of the sick. They also provided ""how-to"" information on accidents and antidotes. For the treatment of colds, for instance, L.M. Child’s book The American Frugal Housewife (Boston, 1829) recommended Hyssop tea, or, more elaborately, that water-gruel, with three or four onions simmering in it, prepared with a lump of butter Read More
Popular household instruments often came in the form of literary sources and functioned as instructional tools for women. Primarily aimed at women of superior social status, these self-help manuals concerned diet, nutrition and medicine.

Many of these 19th century manuals written by and for women demonstrated changes in household technology and middle-class expectations at that time. Due to their high cost, however, domestic manuals, cookbooks and women’s magazines addressed a limited audience. They often remained in families for several generations as reference guides, as the information and advice they contained was passed on to friends and daughters.

As in Europe, domestic manuals published in North America dealt with issues related to cleanliness, the preparation of healthful food and drink, and the care of the sick. They also provided ""how-to"" information on accidents and antidotes. For the treatment of colds, for instance, L.M. Child’s book The American Frugal Housewife (Boston, 1829) recommended Hyssop tea, or, more elaborately, that water-gruel, with three or four onions simmering in it, prepared with a lump of butter, pepper, and salt, be eaten just before going to bed.

As medical knowledge evolved, detailed descriptions of human anatomy and new forms of technology began to be incorporated into popular domestic literature. While the nature of the ailments discussed remained confined to the everyday, greater faith was placed in doctors and the medical profession than had been in the past, profoundly influencing how women understood and performed their roles as mediators of health.

© CHIN 2001

"Title page of La Cuisinière Bourgeoise, an early 19th century Canadian manual

Written as a guide for those employed in the service of middle class households, this volume was one of the first in Canada to address the subject in a comprehensive manner. It includes information on basic foods such as meats, eggs and vegetables and provides extensive details on their preparation.

Menon
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
c. 1825
Quebec, CANADA
Manuel Title Page
TX 719 M45 1825 REF
© CHIN 2001


Women were also expected to possess medical skills that were critical in maintaining the health of their families. Often relying on ""kitchen physic"" rather than on medical doctors to cure basic illnesses, domestic manuals served as practical reference guides for remedies like this one found in The Complete English Cook (London, 1770) for the treatment of colds:

"Drink a Spoonful of Honey, add a Pint of Water--Or, to one Spoonful of Oatmeal and one Spoonful of Honey, add a Piece of Butter of the Bigness of a Nutmeg; pour on gradually near a Pint of boiling Water: drink this lying down in Bed. Keep the Body very open."

Medical treatises dealt extensively with the principal sicknesses of women and children, as in William Moss’ Essay on the Management, Nursing and Diseases of Children, published in 1794. It addressed a variety of ailments including child-bed fevers, teething and miscarriages.


Women were also expected to possess medical skills that were critical in maintaining the health of their families. Often relying on ""kitchen physic"" rather than on medical doctors to cure basic illnesses, domestic manuals served as practical reference guides for remedies like this one found in The Complete English Cook (London, 1770) for the treatment of colds:

"Drink a Spoonful of Honey, add a Pint of Water--Or, to one Spoonful of Oatmeal and one Spoonful of Honey, add a Piece of Butter of the Bigness of a Nutmeg; pour on gradually near a Pint of boiling Water: drink this lying down in Bed. Keep the Body very open."

Medical treatises dealt extensively with the principal sicknesses of women and children, as in William Moss’ Essay on the Management, Nursing and Diseases of Children, published in 1794. It addressed a variety of ailments including child-bed fevers, teething and miscarriages.


© CHIN 2001

Household medicine chest

A medicine chest brought from Scotland to Canada in 1838 by George Malloch, Barrister, who later became Judge of the Leeds and Grenville County Courts, Canada.

Manufacturer unknown, likely Scotland
University Health Network Artifact Collection
c. 1838
Medicine Chest
1954.3.1
© CHIN 2001


Infant rattle and teething stick

Rattle and teething stick made of gold, silver and coral. Engraved with three sets of dates and initials: R.E.R.R. 1920, H.E.R.R 1874, H.R.R. 1800

Manufacturer unknown, likely England
University Health Network Artifact Collection
c. 1798
Gold, Silver, Coral
AD441
© CHIN 2001


Being very closely related to the natural sciences, medicine held an important place in the colony. Hospitals operated by religious orders cared for the sick in large urban centres.

Among the physicians present in the colony at the turn of the 18th century, Michel Sarrazin (1659-1734) was especially prominent. Physician to the King and corresponding member of the Académie royale des sciences (Royal Academy of Science) in Paris, Sarrazin’s principal responsibility was the health of the colony’s military troops.
Being very closely related to the natural sciences, medicine held an important place in the colony. Hospitals operated by religious orders cared for the sick in large urban centres.

Among the physicians present in the colony at the turn of the 18th century, Michel Sarrazin (1659-1734) was especially prominent. Physician to the King and corresponding member of the Académie royale des sciences (Royal Academy of Science) in Paris, Sarrazin’s principal responsibility was the health of the colony’s military troops.

© CHIN 2001

Pharmacy jar

Pharmacy jar

Manufacturer unknown, France
Stewart Museum at the Fort on Île Sainte-Hélène
18th Century
1998.9.2
© CHIN 2001


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Identify and appreciate the way history and culture shape a society’s science and technology
  • Provide examples of how science and technology have influenced the diagnosis and treatment of human illness, and have made medical technology an integral part of our lives
  • Describe scientific and technological developments, past and present, and appreciate their impact on individuals and societies
  • Describe how Canadians have contributed to science and technology on the global stage

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