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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


Museum of Health Care at Kingston, Queen's University


Ann Baillie Building, George Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 2V7


(613) 548-2419

Fax Number

(613) 548-6042


Contact Person

Rona Rustige, Curator - Dr. J. Low, Manager


Access and Services

Researchers should make an appointment to view the collection.
Museums Hours: June through August - Tuesday to Sunday, 11a.m. to 4p.m.; September through May - Tuesday to Friday, 1 to 4p.m


The purpose of the Museum is to preserve the material culture and enhance public understanding pertaining to the history of health care and health care education in Canada. The Museum serves the public by acquiring, conserving, researching, displaying, and interpreting artifacts, and providing programs that stimulate curiosity and interest in the subject. The Museum also has a commitment to scholars. In partnership with Queen's University's academic unit of the history of medicine (Faculty of Health Sciences), the history of medicine collection in Queen's Health Science Library, and Queen's Archives, the Museum provides a center of excellence for scholars and students. The museum is the result of an initiative led by Dr. Jim Low, Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Curator, Rona Rustige. The Kingston General Hospital has provided our home, the Ann Baillie Building, an historic limestone building on George Street. The museum sponsors displays on site and around the Kingston medical community. The Ann Baillie Building is a National Historic Site.



Museum Artifact Collection, late 18th century to present day

Collection ID


More than 19,000 artifacts have been acquired, of which 10,000 are fully accessioned.

Biographical Note

Consultation to determine the requirements for the Museum began in 1988, and the actual acquisition of artifacts began in 1991. The first public exhibit was put on display in the Hall of Honor of Kingston General Hospital in 1994. In 1995, the development of the Museum as an independent institution was endorsed by the partners of the Southeastern Ontario Health Science Center, and that year, the Ann Baillie Building was committed to the Museum by KGH. Incorporation and charitable status were granted February 3, 1997. The Museum is guided by a professional staff with the support of volunteers, donors, sponsors, and members of the Museum

Collection Description

The Museum is a safe haven for more than 16,000 artifacts, including medical, surgical, and laboratory instruments, commemorative objects, and patient care items. Some of the larger collections feature artifacts from the areas of anesthesiology, patent medicines, nursing, x-ray, and pacemakers. The Museum has in its care the first renal dialysis and heart/lung machines designed, built, and used in Kingston. Other artifacts provide insights into the education of health care professionals, such as the Dr. Edwin Robertson collection of wax teaching models made in the 1940s by local artist Marjory Winslow. Some of the models, used for teaching gynecology and obstetrics, show the various stages of delivery. The artifacts in the various collections have been acquired by individuals and institutions from Eastern Ontario and beyond, and date from the late 18th century to the present.

Collection items relating to the history of artificial organs include:

  • Melrose New Electronic Products Ltd. Extracorporeal Heart and Lung machine with oxygenator, ca. 1958
  • Kingmed Manufacturers renal dialysis unit, 1967
  • Delmed Inc. peritoneal dialysis machine, n.d.
  • COBE Laboratories Inc., hemodialysis machine, ca. 1986
  • Organon Taknika Corp. hemodialysis machine, n.d.
  • More than 200 pacemakers, c. 1950s-1980s --- from the following manufacturers: Medtronic, Intermedics Inc., Pacesetter Systems Inc., Medcor, General Electric, Cordis, ESB Inc., Telectronics, Paramedic Instrumentation Ltd., Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., Electrodyne Co. Inc., Biotronik, American Technology Inc.
  • Approximately 9 Prostheses (hip, joint, leg), c.1920-1975

Finding Aid

Consult Curator; search database from website.


Consult Curator.

Related Material

Check archival collection at museum and Queen's University Archives.