Medical, United States

Had My Operation [1942 – Excelsior Springs, MO]

Excelsior Springs, Mo 1942- Medical Postcard lg

Though occasionally vacation postcards can be entertaining, they often contain the most ironically mundane commentary regarding the weather or scheduling. I find the most interesting postcards are the ones that involve births, deaths, marriages, relocations, war, homecomings, graduations, illness, and even lost pets. Those are the ones where I find the most interesting tidbits of individual humanity and anthropology on a larger scale.

An article published in 2005 by the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes “Not only can the illustrations on postcards reveal a considerable amount of information about hospitals in the early twentieth century, but the messages, addresses, postmarks, and stamps can also offer a glimpse of the lives of ordinary citizens and their perceptions of the health care system.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1175805/)

Here we read about one such hospital experience. The sender expresses relief in having made it through surgery, and makes note of the diversity of her fellow patients inside McCleary Hospital near Kansas City, Missouri. I think most people have mixed feelings about hospitals — perhaps, not thrilled about yourself or a family member falling ill, but grateful to have a hospital where you can seek care. I’m glad that Mrs. Goetsch seems to have had a mostly positive hospital stay.

Excelsior Springs, Mo 1942- Medical Postcard message lg

Dear Mable,

Here is the place I am and I guess the place to get well. Had my operation and am over the worst I hope so. Sure meet people from all over the country, young and old, fat and small. Hope from now I will feel better.

Mrs. Goetsch

Postmark: Excelsior Springs, Missouri – May 18, 1942

To: Mrs. Mable Kueck – Janesville, Wisconsin

 


Kansas City Patient 1948
Patient receiving care in Kansas City, Missouri in 1948. Flickr, The Commons

 

McCleary Thornton Minor Hospital

McCleary Clinic and Hospital remains in existence as McCleary – Thornton – Minor Hospital in Excelsior Springs.

History of McCleary Clinic and Hospital