NPS: Fort Davis Post Hospital

Exhibit Design: Wondercabinet Interpretive Design, Inc.
Exhibit Graphics: proun
Exhibit Fabrication: Mystic Scenic Studios, Inc.


Nobody likes going to the hospital. But imagine getting sick or injured in the late-19th century when standard treatments for ailments included mercury, arsenic, and strychnine and the instruments in the doctor’s bag had an unsettling resemblance to the tools in your dad’s garage.

At the Fort Davis Post Hospital visitors can learn about the late-19th-century, state-of-the-art medical technology at an Army hospital on the Texas frontier.

To entice visitors to walk to the hospital at the far end of the site, we feature profiles of five patients.Their stories are told over successive panels, starting outdoors and continuing in the Post Hospital, where visitors learn the fate of these patients. Simple interactives let visitors try their hand at diagnosing treatments.

The graphics for the Post Hospital exhibits draw on the vernacular of medical catalogs and packaging of the mid-19th century. Panel shapes with the rounded shoulders and tapered sides of medicine bottles along with Victorian type treatments reference the visual language of an apothecary. .