Public Health Museum

Public Health Museum America's First Public Health Museum. Open Wednesdays and Thursdays 10-2. Also open first Sat. of the month, and by appointment. Free parking. Sign up for the monthly enews with public health announcements and resources.
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The Public Health Museum is a non-profit educational and cultural museum dedicated to preserving artifacts and records of our nation's history in public health. The Museum also serves as a resource to the community educating and exploring public health initiatives that address current health issues. Since 1994, the museum has been open to the public and has received a wide range of interest in viewing exhibitions on varying themes related to Public Health and related issues. The Museum is home to a valuable collection of objects and documents that chart the history of public health in America, and the story of Tewksbury Hospital and its role in the history of public health in the state of Massachusetts. The hospital was started as an almshouse in 1854 and has provided care for the indigent and underprivileged populations of Massachusetts. The exhibition space illustrates the example of the history of Tewksbury Hospital on which the museum resides in addition to small exhibits on topic such as; Pioneers of Public Health in Massachusetts, history of Tuberculosis Sanitariums, history of Polio, Patent Medicines, Food Supply Safety and Testing, Eradication of Smallpox, and early treatment of Mental Health Disorders. Visitors also learn about early hospital practice and treatment of patients and history of nursing programs.

One of the world’s first public health measures was the implementation of The Roman aqueducts. The structures would pr...
05/14/2019

One of the world’s first public health measures was the implementation of The Roman aqueducts. The structures would provide access to clean water straight from the source throughout the land. The Greeks and Romans understood that stagnant and contaminated water could lead to illness due to waterborne diseases. The use of the aqueducts was all but forgotten after the fall of the empire, but the seed of public health had been planted.

Don’t forget, during our summer hours we are open 4-8pm on Wednesdays. Stop by after work and check out the museum!
05/08/2019

Don’t forget, during our summer hours we are open 4-8pm on Wednesdays. Stop by after work and check out the museum!

Pictured is the operating room of the men’s hospital c.1900. Did you know our TB exhibit is housed in the very same ca...
05/02/2019

Pictured is the operating room of the men’s hospital c.1900. Did you know our TB exhibit is housed in the very same case seen on the right! @ Public Health Museum

Today, May 1, 2019, marks 165 years since the Tewksbury Almshouse opened its doors. Although originally built to house 5...
05/01/2019

Today, May 1, 2019, marks 165 years since the Tewksbury Almshouse opened its doors. Although originally built to house 500 people, more than 800 were admitted in less than 20 days. By 1856 the almshouse included 6 hospital wards.

As the seasons change, so do our hours! We will now be open Wednesdays 4-8pm, Thursdays 10am-2pm, and the first Saturday...
04/26/2019

As the seasons change, so do our hours! We will now be open Wednesdays 4-8pm, Thursdays 10am-2pm, and the first Saturday of every month 10am-2pm

This week is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week! Thank you to all medical lab professionals, your work is instrumenta...
04/22/2019

This week is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week! Thank you to all medical lab professionals, your work is instrumental in the ever changing world of public health. Photos taken by Harold Crowley in 1974 @ Public Health Museum

04/21/2019
What.If

What.If

How bad would things get if everyone stopped vaccinating their kids?

Mary Mallon, more often known as Typhoid Mary, was born in Ireland in 1869. She emigrated to the U.S. in 1884 and found ...
04/18/2019

Mary Mallon, more often known as Typhoid Mary, was born in Ireland in 1869. She emigrated to the U.S. in 1884 and found work in a few domestic positions serving wealthy families, until finally establishing herself as a cook. While working for a NY banker named Charles Henry Warren, several people in the house developed typhoid fever. George Sober, a sanitary engineer, began looking into the strange occurrence, originally believing bad clams could be the cause of the illnesses. After further investigation, Sober discovered Mary to be a “healthy carrier” of Salmonella Typhi. Mary resisted all attempts by Sober to obtain fecal, urine, and blood samples so he began secretly following her whereabouts. He identified her past employers and found that 7 of the 8 families she had served experienced cases of typhoid, some even resulting in death. An outbreak of typhoid hit NY, with Mary being the probable cause. Having been forced to give samples by the Department of Health and police, she tested positive for the illness causing bacteria. She was transferred to a hospital to be quarantined. In 1910 a new health commissioner pledged to free Mary and help her find suitable employment outside of the kitchen. Mary ignored the terms of her release and returned to cooking. After more cases of typhoid began appearing, Mary, using the alias Mary Brown, was tracked down as the source. She was once again quarantined, this time until her death in 1938. As the first known health carrier in the U.S. Mary was found responsible for the illness of at least 122 people, 5 of which died.

Our friends at Tewksbury Public Library enjoyed a tour of the museum during Public Health Week!
04/18/2019

Our friends at Tewksbury Public Library enjoyed a tour of the museum during Public Health Week!

As part of National Public Health Week, the library organized a tour of the Public Health Museum, located on the grounds of the Tewksbury State Hospital, earlier this month. #ThrowBackThursday

Tewksbury Hospital sits on an impressive 700 acre plot of land. The layout and buildings have changed multiple times thr...
04/14/2019

Tewksbury Hospital sits on an impressive 700 acre plot of land. The layout and buildings have changed multiple times throughout the campus’s history, opening originally as an almshouse in 1854 on a 250 acre lot. The first image displays the hospital in 1907, following the addition of several buildings, completed in 1905. The second image is a current map of the campus, used during our walking tours! @ Public Health Museum

Dr. James Cook Ayer was born in 1818 and moved to Lowell, MA at age 13. He became an apprentice to a druggist in Lowell ...
04/11/2019

Dr. James Cook Ayer was born in 1818 and moved to Lowell, MA at age 13. He became an apprentice to a druggist in Lowell and began developing and selling his own patent medicines. The J.C. Ayer Co. apothecary shop became very successful, leading to the opening of a factory for production of his medicines. In the factory, they were able to produce large amounts of sarsaparilla, cherry pectoral, hair vigor, and Ayer’s pills to keep up with the high demand. Much of Ayer’s success is attributed to extensive advertising consisting of trade cards and an almanac that was eventually published in 5 different languages. After pursuing politics unsuccessfully, Ayer became disturbed and violent, landing him in an insane asylum in which he died in 1878. He is buried in Lowell Cemetery, his grave marked by a large monument depicting a lion. @ Public Health Museum

Thorazine, the first antipsychotic drug, started being used in the U.S. in 1954. It was helpful in the treatment of psyc...
04/09/2019

Thorazine, the first antipsychotic drug, started being used in the U.S. in 1954. It was helpful in the treatment of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and advertisements boasted that many patients were able to leave psychiatric hospitals and return home with its use. Its discovery kicked off the chemical revolution in psychiatric care, leading to the development of other medications like antidepressants and minor tranquilizers. This ad from 1956 explains the improvements the drug’s usage had made in the mental hospital setting.

Spring weather has finally arrived! Get outside for some fresh air and Vitamin D! Pictured is Dr. John Holyoke Nichols, ...
04/06/2019

Spring weather has finally arrived! Get outside for some fresh air and Vitamin D! Pictured is Dr. John Holyoke Nichols, Tewksbury Hospital’s superintendent from 1897-1935, enjoying a bicycle ride around campus with friends. Also don’t forget our walking tours start next month

Public health is always around us but it seems to be an especially prevalent subject these days. This can even be seen i...
04/04/2019

Public health is always around us but it seems to be an especially prevalent subject these days. This can even be seen in the entertainment industry. This year, two TV mini-series that put public health issues in the spotlight will be premiering. One entitled The Hot Zone, based on a book by Richard Preston, follows the origins of the Ebola virus and the panic that ensued upon its arrival to the U.S. Ridley Scott is an executive producer of the series that will air on National Geographic Channel in May. Also debuting to U.S. audiences is the Canadian series Unspeakable , which chronicles the emergence of HIV and Hepatitis C in Canada in the 1980s and the tragedy of the Canadian tainted blood crisis, which lead to thousands of patients unnecessarily infected with contaminated blood. The series will begin airing tonight, April 4th on the Sundance Channel.
Button from our friends Boston University School of Public Health

REMINDER! Tomorrow evening join us at Tewksbury Public Library for Feeble Stones: Graves of the Disabled and Mentally Il...
04/02/2019

REMINDER! Tomorrow evening join us at Tewksbury Public Library for Feeble Stones: Graves of the Disabled and Mentally Ill in MA, presented by Ashlynn Rickord of the Northeast New England Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies

Join us on Wednesday April 3rd at Tewksbury Public Library for Feeble Stones, a fascinating presentation on the final resting places of the disabled and mentally ill throughout the state’s history. The presentation starts at 7:00pm. We hope to see you there!

https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Health-Officials-Warn-of-Possible-Measles-Exposure-in-Massachusetts-507961791.html...
04/01/2019
Health Officials Warn of Possible Measles Exposure in Mass.

https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Health-Officials-Warn-of-Possible-Measles-Exposure-in-Massachusetts-507961791.html

The Massachusetts DPH warns of possible measles exposure in the Greater Boston area. Locations the infected individual visited during the infectious period of their disease have been announced in order for individuals who may have been exposed to take the necessary actions.

Massachusetts health officials are warning of a possible measles exposure in the Greater Boston area. The state Department of Public Health said a person was diagnosed with measles on Sunday.

Take a peek at the cabinets down the hall from the museum to find a few additional historical items!
04/01/2019

Take a peek at the cabinets down the hall from the museum to find a few additional historical items!

We’re celebrating #NPHW enjoy free admission to the museum all week during our special extended hours! #publichealth
04/01/2019

We’re celebrating #NPHW enjoy free admission to the museum all week during our special extended hours! #publichealth

03/31/2019

In celebration of National Public Health Week we are open everyday this week!
Monday: 1pm-4pm Tuesday: 1pm-5pm Wednesday: 10am-2pm Thursday: 10am-2pm Friday: 12pm-3pm Saturday: 10am-2pm
General admission is free. We hope to see you there!

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/03/emergency-declared-in-ny-over-measles-unvaccinated-barred-from-public-spaces/Roc...
03/27/2019
Emergency declared in NY over measles, unvaccinated barred from public spaces

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/03/emergency-declared-in-ny-over-measles-unvaccinated-barred-from-public-spaces/

Rockland County, New York has declared a state of emergency due to the severity of their measles outbreak. Anyone aged 18 or under who have not been vaccinated is prohibited from entering any public space for 30 days or until vaccinated.

County official calls resistance to outbreak response "unacceptable and irresponsible."

Next week!
03/27/2019

Next week!

Next week we're celebrating Public Health Week with our friends at the Public Health Museum! The Tewksbury Public Library is holding THREE interesting health-related programs during the week of March 31.

On Monday, April 1 at 4pm, join us for an afternoon of hands-on learning about hygiene, nutrition, and fitness. Program will include several fun activities designed for elementary-age children and their parents/caregivers. Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library and Public Health Museum. Learn more and register HERE: https://tewksburypl.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/public-health-week-hands-on-health-/.

On Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm, discover the history of how people with disabilities and mental illness were treated in the Commonwealth, and then explore, through photographs, their final resting places, with a focus on the cemeteries of two state institutions in Massachusetts -- the Walter E. Fernald State School and the Tewksbury State Hospital. Led by Ashyln Rickord, historian and board member of the Public Health Museum. Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library and Public Health Museum. Learn more and register HERE: https://tewksburypl.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/public-health-week-feeble-stones-graves-of-the-disabled-and-mentally-ill-in-massachusetts-2/.

On Thursday, April 4 at 11am, come explore the Public Health Museum in this special guided tour. The Museum preserves records and artifacts from our nation’s public health history while educating the public about the achievements and contributions of public health. Meet at the Museum, located on the grounds of the Tewksbury State Hospital, behind the library. (It's best to enter off of East Street.) Limited to 20 spots. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Learn more and register HERE: https://tewksburypl.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/public-health-week-tour-of-the-public-health-museum/.

All talks are FREE and OPEN TO ALL. Sponsored by The Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library.

(cc: James Town Crier Pote, The Sun News, Your Tewksbury Today, Tewksbury Advocate, Tewksbury Patch, Town of Tewksbury)

Join us!
03/26/2019

Join us!

Next week is National Public Health Week! We're looking forward to a trip to the Public Health Museum for this #NPHW19 event.

We’d like to thank everyone for attending our #worldtbday event! We hope you enjoyed it and maybe even learned a thing...
03/24/2019

We’d like to thank everyone for attending our #worldtbday event! We hope you enjoyed it and maybe even learned a thing or two! Be sure not to miss our #nationalpublichealthweek programs happening April 1st through 5th @ Public Health Museum

CDC Global
03/24/2019

CDC Global

Today, CDC recognizes #WorldTBDay with continued leadership in the fight against #TB by bringing to bear a unique combination of scientific leadership, strong peer-to-peer relationships with Ministries of Health, technical know-how, & a solid track record.

Learn more: http://ow.ly/q33N50nQUyi

03/21/2019
Tewksbury Public Library

Tewksbury Public Library

Our Mini Golf Fundraiser is almost here and we NEED YOUR HELP! Make sure to stop by on Saturday, March 30th from 6pm to 9pm and/or on Sunday, March 31st from 10am to 4pm and play a round of mini golf (inside the library!) for only $5 per person! Your funds will go to pay for our programs and museum passes. It's a great time for the entire family and our biggest fundraiser of the year for the Friends of the Library. Take a gander at what things looked like last year in the video below.

Can't make it to the fundraiser? The Friends of the Library are always happy to take donations.

Most commonly found in individuals with weakened immune systems, miliary TB occurs when the disease moves through the bl...
03/21/2019

Most commonly found in individuals with weakened immune systems, miliary TB occurs when the disease moves through the bloodstream and begins to affect other organs. The name is derived from the small nodules found in the lungs that resemble millet seeds. This Sunday, March 24th is world TB day. Join us from 1-4pm to learn more about TB and its history. Admission to the museum is free. We hope to see you there! #worldtbday @ Public Health Museum

Happy spring! The last bit of snow is melting here at the museum and we’re looking forward to warmer days. Our walking...
03/20/2019

Happy spring! The last bit of snow is melting here at the museum and we’re looking forward to warmer days. Our walking tours of the hospital campus will be starting in May! To learn more or make a reservation visit our website.

When Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine in 1955 children all around the country began getting vaccinated. ...
03/19/2019

When Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine in 1955 children all around the country began getting vaccinated. The issue was that teens and adults erroneously believed they weren’t at risk of contracting the disease which primarily affected children. In order to encourage the public to get vaccinated Elvis Presley was asked if he would be willing to receive the vaccination in front of the press before his appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956. Elvis agreed to this and the resulting photos were published in newspapers across the U.S. This publicity helped bring the country one step closer to closing the immunization gap.

03/14/2019
Gizmodo

Gizmodo

Paul Alexander spends nearly every hour, of every day cocooned in his iron lung, his body being forced to breathe. This was life before the polio vaccine.

Friday April 5th join us at the Tewksbury Hospital’s Saunders Building event room at 9am for Tobacco Control: Past Suc...
03/13/2019

Friday April 5th join us at the Tewksbury Hospital’s Saunders Building event room at 9am for Tobacco Control: Past Success and Future Challenges. Learn about tobacco control on a local level from our public health discussion panel. Following the program we will be revealing a new exhibit at the museum! The event is free but registration is requested. Register by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tobacco-control-past-success-future-challenges-tickets-58377582922

Once a common treatment for the devastating effects of Polio, iron lungs are a rare sight these days. As of 2018 there w...
03/11/2019

Once a common treatment for the devastating effects of Polio, iron lungs are a rare sight these days. As of 2018 there were only 3 people in the U.S. still using the machines. Stop by the museum to learn more and see one for yourself! Amazing photo of the iron lung in our Infectious Disease room by @buriedbytimephotography

Join us on Wednesday April 3rd at Tewksbury Public Library for Feeble Stones, a fascinating presentation on the final re...
03/09/2019

Join us on Wednesday April 3rd at Tewksbury Public Library for Feeble Stones, a fascinating presentation on the final resting places of the disabled and mentally ill throughout the state’s history. The presentation starts at 7:00pm. We hope to see you there!

April 1st-5th is #nationalpublichealthweek and we are very excited to announce our scheduled events! Keep your eyes peel...
03/07/2019

April 1st-5th is #nationalpublichealthweek and we are very excited to announce our scheduled events! Keep your eyes peeled for more details coming in the next week. We hope to see you there! #publichealthmuseum #publichealth #medicalhistory

Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward this Saturday night, March 9th! Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, Marc...
03/07/2019

Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward this Saturday night, March 9th! Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 10th at 2:00am ☀️

Throughout the history of public health, agencies and organizations have been tasked with creating health campaigns that...
03/05/2019

Throughout the history of public health, agencies and organizations have been tasked with creating health campaigns that catch the attention of the public in order to educate. One such relatively obscure example is the 1900s Vaudeville play “Death and the Lady” which was inspired by an old English ballad. The performance piece told of the dangers of drinking and gambling or flirting with death. Photos taken by Joseph Hall, 1906
#publichealthmuseum #medicalhistory #publichealth

Unfortunately due to the inclement weather expected tomorrow, Saturday March 2nd, the museum will be closed. We thank yo...
03/01/2019

Unfortunately due to the inclement weather expected tomorrow, Saturday March 2nd, the museum will be closed. We thank you for your continued support!

*****SAVE THE DATE*****Keep your eyes peeled for details on the Museum's special hours & the week's events!
02/28/2019

*****SAVE THE DATE*****

Keep your eyes peeled for details on the Museum's special hours & the week's events!

We hope you’re having a restful and relaxing weekend! Maybe it’s time to curl up with a good book. Pictured is the R...
02/23/2019

We hope you’re having a restful and relaxing weekend! Maybe it’s time to curl up with a good book. Pictured is the Reception Room of Tewksbury Hospital’s Nurses Hall in 1899 #publichealthmuseum #medicalhistory #tewksburyhospital

Address

365 East St
Tewksbury, MA
01876

Opening Hours

Wednesday 16:00 - 20:00
Thursday 10:00 - 14:00

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