1937 Poliomyelitis Strikes!

  • Iron lung outside hospital, 1937

    Indecision and In-Fighting Among Politicians and Bureaucrats

    The decision to close schools in September of 1937 due the outbreak of polio was an incredibly difficult one for all the parties involved – the Toronto Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, the school staff, (both teachers and non-teachers), the Medical Officer of Health, the Mayor of Toronto and the Toronto City Council – all these were challenged to adapt to an ever-changing situation. A complicating factor was that this situation was one that had never before been seen and thus no process to address it existed.

    Photographer unknown

    Black and white photograph

    SK.03

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    Black and white photo of iron lung displayed outside in front of hospital windows.