Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Doctor is in at Walsingham House in Heritage Village, Largo Florida.

The pineapple posts in front of Walsingham House.
Admiring the massive pineapple posts at the entrance to Walsingham House, I always wondered why the building was never open to the public during my several visits to Heritage Village. Then I discovered that it was only shown during a tour, just like the House of Seven Gables. The tours are scheduled on the half hour. The times and locations are posted at the visitor's center on an easel.

The beautiful home was built in 1915 for Jesse & Mary Walsingham, who lived there 15 years,  The concrete and wood home was a rental at various times as evidenced by the separate second floor entrance. In 1984, the house escaped demolition when it was moved from Ridge Road to Heritage Village. It received extensive renovation including plumbing and wiring. The Pinellas County Medical Association donated its extensive collection of antique medical devices and furniture, and provided air conditioning to the home.

Doctor's Waiting Room

What you see today is an example of what a country doctor's office might have been like in 1928. The parlor is showcased by a display area for 40 examining and surgical tools that are similar to those in use today, except for the material used. There are forceps, clamps, retractors, speculas, scapula, dilator, catheter, saws, knives, snips, clamps, etc.

The upstairs is not available for tours. Downstairs, there is a large waiting area with a fainting couch, a doctor's office, a patient examination room, a laboratory, and a pharmacy. The rooms are complete with devices for measuring hearing, eyesight, blood pressure, etc. There is also a small collection of  innovative devices that were proved quackery, but are interesting, nevertheless. 

Dr's office
Laboratory with instruments for testing

X-ray viewing machine
Apothecary supply cabinet with labels like pulv borax, amylum, kaolin, gentian, sulphur, bad anchusa, mustard ufs, cort cascar, emplastra (another word for dressings)    

Old prescriptions, medicine bottles, scales, reference books

Birthing table
Fainting couch

Tour guide showing a visitor how to use antique crutches

An optical trial kit for making glasses

Display case by the front entrance
List of medical instruments on display

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