Academic hood belonging to Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen

Object Name: Academic Hood
Manufacturer: Unknown
Date Made: 1883
Country of Origin: Canada
MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Ceremonial; Universities; Clothing


This academic hood symbolises a significant achievement in Canadian medicine.  Its original owner, Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen (1857-1943), was the first woman to receive her complete medical training and degree from a Canadian university. Born in Mount Pleasant, Ontario, in 1879 she enrolled in Victoria College (Cobourg, Ontario) in the medical programme affiliated with the Toronto School of Medicine.  Despite harassment and taunts from her fellow male students, Dr. Stowe Gullen graduated and received her license to practise in 1883 and was appointed demonstrator in anatomy and later professor of paediatrics at the new Ontario Medical College for Women in Toronto.

Her mother, Dr. Emily Howard Stowe, had graduated in New York State in 1868, and after a prolonged struggle for recognition had been licensed to practise medicine in 1880, thus becoming Canada’s first woman doctor. Both were ardent feminists, and devoted themselves to the advancement of women in education and public life. Dr. Emily Stowe organized the Canadian movement for female suffrage, and under her daughter’s leadership women in Ontario received the franchise in 1917.

Related: Canadian, Doctors, Women

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