A new exhibit at the Pioneer Museum of Bozeman explores the development of health care in the Gallatin Valley. “Crutches, Cavities and Cures” displays items from a bygone era when doctors carried a black bag and nurses wore either a “short” or “long” cap emblazoned with a red cross.


The exhibit was designed and installed by Carolyn Manley and Francie McLean, who were assisted by museum staff and volunteers. According to Manley, the exhibit’s use of museum artifacts previously unseen by the public is a major component of the display.

“I think it’s important to bring as many of the fascinating artifacts we have in our collections out of the basement and upstairs where they can be seen and enjoyed.” Also donating items for the display were Dr. William Fraser and other medical professionals, Glenn and Ruth Welch, Western Drug, and Macy’s.

Visitors will be able to view an early nurse’s uniform, antique wheel chair and dentist chair, bedpans, potions, needles, pharmaceuticals and instruments. “We were fortunate to have so many interesting items to choose from,” said Mclean. “The community was very generous with their donations and ideas.” What makes the exhibit especially fun is the “What Is It” game, where visitors are asked to identify certain items.

The Pioneer Museum is located at 317 W Main in downtown Bozeman, and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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