I try to purchase paper items relating to early small-animal veterinary practices when they come my way. (Check out my post from July 2015 on the an early New York City animal hospital, based on a 1900 pamphlet that promoted the practice.) I was pleased to be able to purchase this group of snapshots of a veterinarian and his practice, all dated 1939. I’m still trying to figure out who Dr. Hyde is. I made the mistake of not quizzing the seller of these snapshots about the source, and I will try to contact him as time permits. If I learn more, I’ll revise this post.
The office appears to be in a residential neighborhood, and it looks like a converted two-car garage.
The operating/examination room is very simple, but it follows the ideas about small-animal practice that took hold in the 1920s, when many large-animal vets in cities and towns reoriented their practices toward the care of pets. It has a white enamel sink on the left side and the operating table has a white enamel surface. There’s a locker, perhaps for supplies, beyond the sink and a cabinet of medicines on the upper right.
And here is Dr. Hyde with either his own dog or one of his patients, who looks serious — perhaps at the prospect of getting a vaccination. Dr. Hyde has his arm around the little fellow and they both look into the camera, like a studio photograph of a man and his dog.
I’m only sorry that there was apparently no photo of the waiting room. I’d like to see whether Dr. Hyde followed the advice of the American Animal Hospital Association (founded in 1933) to create an office environment that paralleled that of the family physician.
If you know anything about Dr. Hyde, please share it with us! I’d be happy to credit you as co-author of this post.