From Black Bag to High Science: Medicine in Central N.B. 1850-2000

Creator(s): Fredericton Region Museum

In the decades following the Second World War, central New Brunswick experienced the most rapid population growth in the province. That expansion was driven not by farming, manufacturing or railways - which for more than a century had powered the local economy - but by a dramatic growth in the public service, the military, higher education, and health services. From countryside of scattered rural settlements and small towns, the region rapidly became an urban community centred on Fredericton and Oromocto.

During the course of the 20th century, medical care became an increasingly important component of life in central New Brunswick. In the early part of the century, doctors followed their patients into the scattered settlements of the region ministering as best they could with their limited resources. As scientific research and technological innovation yielded more effective forms of diagnosis and treatment, people's expectations that modern medicine could perform miracles also increased. In many cases, their faith was justified.

The following exhibit explores the history and changing fabric of medical care in central New Brunswick throughout the 20th century.

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