In praise of Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital Board
Ipswich Hospital Board Contributed

IN the early days of the Ipswich Hospital, a writer informed the public that the grounds, garden walks and flower beds were such that "This institution is a sweet oasis in the desert of life".

Dr Thornton was in charge of the hospital and the nurses were dressed in blue uniforms over which a white apron was worn.

The cleanliness of the nurses was considerably enhanced by the clean bright uniforms.

"Young girls" said the writer, "were so plentiful in Queensland and so young that nurses were expected to be on duty from 6am until 8pm and a night nurse was on duty from 8pm until 6am. This included working on Sundays for salaries ranging from 32 pounds to 50 pounds a year".

Upstairs in the medical and surgical parts of the hospital were young men injured in accidents and the writer thought a casualty ward should be on the ground floor as those injured or violently ill had to be carried up the stairs on stretchers. Many patients were of the "working class" and Dr Thornton said bronchitic asthma was the commonest complaint in Ipswich particularly in the winter. There was a Jubilee Ward erected for sick children thanks to the fundraising efforts of the ladies of Ipswich.

There was also a well-lit, ventilated fever ward and notices to visitors instructed them how to behave towards suffering family and friends. Dr Thornton remarked "People try to smuggle food into the patients and to beg his staff to give items, which if swallowed, would cause death". The doctor believed many fever patients were killed by the kindness of their friends outside the hospital. Milk only or in certain cases, beef tea and broth were the proper food for fever patients.

In the garden, two gardeners were employed; there was a messenger boy and a gate porter. While the Matron had charge of the household department, the cook, kitchen-maid, two laundresses and housemaid were her responsibility and Dr Thornton had eight nurses and a dispenser under his control.



IN 1892 Ipswich Hospital was calling tenders for food and drug supplies and spirits. One tender was for Port Wine at per gallon and per case of three dozen quarts; Geneve at per case; Brandy at per gallon and per case; Rum at per gallon, quote to be for the best Colonial and best Jamaican; Whiskey at per gallon and per case of three dozen quarts; Ale and Porter at per dozen pint bottles. Sample bottles must accompany the tender and the sample must be from the original case. (Cheers all round?)



In 1874 the Home Shuttle Sewing Machine was on the market. It used a straight needle; made a lock-stitch; had self adjusting tensions and could hem, felt, bind, cord, braid, seam, tuck, ruffle, hemstitch, gather and sew leather. Price: four pounds ten shillings.



Syrup of Iodized Horseradish cured lymphatism, rachitism, scrofula, congestion of the glands of the neck, palencse and flabbiness of the flesh, lack of appetite, weakness of constitution, eruptions on the face, boils, pimples and itching in 1871. It was also the best remedy against the first stage of consumption and was a most powerful depurative known. Also in 1871 Dr Locock's Pulmonis Wafers gave freedom from coughs in ten minutes and they had a pleasant taste. In hysterical, nervous and heat complaints they were unfailing.



"Footballers - see Cooper the Booterers Bootiful Football Boots at the Bootery, next to the Club Hotel, Brisbane St, Ipswich" - so read an ad in The Queensland Times in 1912.



Proprietress of the Small Goods Department and City Lunch Room, Nicholas St, Ipswich in 1906 was Miss L McCorkell. Lunch was served from noon and cost two shillings. Miss McCorkell advertised "Our pork sausages excel any sold in Ipswich at the price of sixpence pound; beef sausages at only fivepence pound and dripping sixpence pound".



Messrs Johnson and Broughton coach builders, cnr Nicholas and Limestone Sts, Ipswich built a sanitary wagon for Messrs E Gough & Co sanitary contractors in 1896. It was constructed of colonial timber; was 10ft long; ran on four wheels and had space for carrying 54 pans at a time.

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