KGH: 175 years of caring - December 1889

News / KGH History
By Pamela Peacock

This week's article is by the Museum's curator, Dr. Pamela Peacock.

In December 1889, the Hospital Board resolved that, "...a new building be erected for the Hospital to be connected with the Main Building by a covered corridor with accommodation for infectious diseases, for the Superintendent, for the Nurses and also for the laundry." This resolution was acted upon after the hospital received a significant donation. William Nickle had been a generous patron of the hospital during his lifetime, and continued as such after his death by leaving a $10,000 bequest to the hospital. Construction on the new wing began in 1890 and it formally opened on April 2, 1891.

The design of the wing included many features that aimed to decrease the spread of germs. The external stairwell leading to the infectious diseases ward, which was located on the second storey, was intended to limit cross-contamination between wards. Beveled edges and rounded corners made surfaces easier to clean.

Finally, the hospital invested in a ventilation system that provided each room with its own ductwork and air. Although this system proved to be fraught with problems over the next few years, the intent was to minimize cross-contamination between patients.

For more information, visit the Museum of Health Care online or download the new App: "Transformation of the Kingston General Hospital 1835-1914."

KGH will mark the 175th anniversary durning the week of September 23, 2013.

Do you have an interesting story to share about your history with KGH? Use the comment section below to tell us!

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Lovell Drugs and our event sponsors, Honeywell and KCCU.