Origins

Nurses' Home, Homewood Sanitarium, Guelph, Ont (postcard)

          This postcard was printed in Great Britain, originally published in Guelph, Ontario by A.B Petrie who ran a pharmacy established in 1882, in downtown Guelph. He was an active member of the pharmaceutical community, holding the position of President of the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1894, encouraging the development and the growth of the Homewood Retreat that had been newly built. He also contributed some products and medication used for patients in the Homewood Retreat. During my research, I was unable to find details as to who painted the image shown on the postcard, or the exact date of the printing.

The Nurses Residence (as seen in the image on the postcard.)

         This residence was built in 1924 to encourage young nurses to accept positions of employment and studies at the Homewood Retreat. Before it was built, the quarters assigned to resident nurses reflected more of maids’ quarters, not as a better financed institution. Newly graduated nurses from Toronto were now more inclined to take work outside of the city, thus improving the care and the number of nurses to patients in Retreat. As this residence was built, the Homewood institution also put in place an ‘in work schooling’ option, which is now known as one of the older psychiatric nursing school programs in Canada (Moments of Unreason, Warsh 116).  

         Due to the name change from Homewood Retreat to the Homewood Sanitarium of Guelph Ontario Limited in 1902 (The Homewood Sanitarium: 100 years of service, 1883-1983. The Homewood Centennial Committee pg.7) , it can be assumed that the postcard was printed both after 1902 regarding the name change, as well as after 1924, as the Nurses Residence was built then and that is what the image depicts. This gives a potential publishing date between 1924 and the 1990's, as a third name change took place shortly after (Guelph: Perspectives on a Century of Change 1900-2000 D. Matheson & R. Anderson Eds. 176). 

        As the postcard would have been printed around 1920’s, it would have been produced using chromolithography techniques. This is a form of lithographic printing that involves more than three colours of ink in the design and colouring of the image. During this procedure, an image can be drawn onto a very flat rock face of limestone, using different materials such as crayons, paint, coloured pencils and other art supplies containing oily lipids. The image can then be transferred from the rock face to paper pressed firmly on top of it, and can be transferred multiple times with each image produced. The oil based ink allows parts of the image to absorb the colours, while other specified parts of the painting repel the ink to produce the final image.