portion of the exhibit, Illuminations:
Revisiting the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition of 1901,
provides a fascinating glimpse into the general state of health care and
medical technology available at the turn of the century. What could attendees
at the Exposition expect in terms of hygiene and health care? Were restroom
facilities provided, and were they kept clean? Were doctors and medical
equipment available on the grounds? Who drove the ambulance
that carried the wounded President McKinley?
These pages contain
some interesting and less well-known facts about maladies that befell
Pan-Am goers, what attendees could expect in terms of health-care and
hygiene, the medical equipment available at the time, the caregivers who
tended to visitors, and information about other health-related events
that occurred on the Exposition grounds.
Lavatory facilities at the Exposition
Public comfort and the sanitary conditions of lavatory facilities were
a major concern of an exposition that expected to draw close to ten million
The enormous task of overseeing daily medical care and disease prevention
at the Pan-Am fell to Dr. Roswell Park, Medical Director of the Exposition.
Medical exhibits were scattered throughout the grounds and displayed the
technical advances of the time. Visitors could find exhibitors showing
medical devices ranging from prosthetic limbs for amputees to the pocket
sized "Pan-Am Microscope." Discussed in this portion of Illuminations
The staff at the Exposition's hospital treated everything from daily cases
of diarrhea to President McKinley's gunshot wound, and staff made sure
the numerous food vendors adhered to hygienic practices and monitored
the lavatory facilities.
The Exposition's ambulance, driven by F. T. Ellis, was most famously used
to ferry President William McKinley from the Temple of Music to the Exposition
hospital after he was shot by Leon Czolgosz September 6, 1901.
Buffalo nurses played a prominent role at nursing conventions being held
at the Exposition featuring speakers such as Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee and
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