My grandmother Alice kept a lot of stuff. But, this is by far one of the most interesting collection of hers that we have and I’ve learned so much by going through them – a set of medical clinic appointment cards for herself and her four kids!
Most of the cards are not dated, but many have a field for the “age” of the patient so I can tell that they span about 20 years, from approximately 1950-1970. This time range corresponds to the birth of her first child, my uncle Stanley – up to when her youngest, my uncle Calvin, was about 12 years old. The next two card images show a visit from when she was 25, and another visit when she was 46.
There was one card for my uncle Leonard when he was a baby
And, on the back, Alice wrote a brief summary of her pre-natal visits. While pregnant with Leonard, she went to the Maternity division of the NY Bureau of Child Health and it looks like her appointments were from December 1952 – March 5, 1953. My uncle would be born just about a month after her last recorded visit.
Another card in her collection records dental visits for my mother. Mommy was attending P.S. 126 at the time and she went there for 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, so these appointments would have been somewhere during that time frame.
Grandma also had a card that showed payments she made for her medical care. From the address at Lacombe Avenue (where my grandmother moved to in 1974), I estimate these payments were made around 1974 or so. Grandma’s $685 total payments at that time is around $3300 dollars now. That was a lot of money for my grandmother I’m sure.
Grandma also had her card showing her polio vaccination series – or, as she called it, her “polio needles.” This card shows that she had 3 already…
and on the back, she wrote that she had one more to get – two years later in 1961 – then she would be done.
And this card was interesting because it was the only red one in the batch. It’s a card for my uncle Leonard for what looks like an ear appointment given my grandmother’s note on the side. Leonard was about 6 months old.
These cards are fascinating to me. I know Alice didn’t play around when it came to her health and these cards prove it! There is probably even more to learn by carefully examining them all, so I need to take the time to do that. What a great set of cards for us to have!