Front: "Dr. Locke Treating a Stretcher Patient, Williamsburg, Ontario"; back: "POST CARD // Carte Postale // Photogelatine Engraving Co. Limited, Ottawa. // MADE IN CANADA"
Storage Room 2005
Length: 13.7 cm. x Width: 8.9 cm.
Front is a little scratched up; top left has a small brown dot stain, and bottom left has some ink smudge; back has some ink stained through, but the discolouration is light and consistent; corners a little soft
Jonathan Walford's Blog; "Doctor M.W. Locke and the Williamsburg Scene" by J. Smyth Carter, 1933; "The Canadian Magazine", Feb. 1933: "Dr. Locke - Patients Sing Praises - Medical Interests Scoff"
Dr. Mahlon W. Locke (1880-1942) born in, Dixon's Corners Ontario. Started high school at 12; great grandfather was John McIntosh, discoverer of the McIntosh Red Apple tree. In 1901 he enrolled at Queens College of Medicine, graduating in 1905. In 1907 he decided to undertake postgraduate training in Scotland, spending time at both the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Opened his medical practice in Williamsburg June 1, 1908; married Miss Blanche McGruer and had 4 children.
On his return to Williamsburg, he treated the village blacksmith who was crippled with arthritis and was almost unable to work. After many sessions of Dr Locke’s foot manipulations, he regained much of his mobility and was able to return to his work. This seems to be the first recorded treatment and the one which would set the scene for Locke’s future reputation.
Interested in arthritis, which he believed was caused principally by fallen arches caused arthritis and other ills; he put the arches back in place by manual manipulation of their feet, relieving pressure on the posterior tibial nerve. Dr Locke’s fee was one dollar which included two sessions daily; everybody paid the same, whether millionaire or pauper. Those who were unable to pay were treated free. His one dollar per visit treatments included advice on taking exercise, wearing properly fitted shoes with orthotic supports, and prescriptions for associated ailments, such as hypothyroidism.
Around 1925 interest in his foot treatment grew rapidly with patients from all over North America, and some from Europe. By 1932 Dr Locke was giving over 2000 treatments daily. During the Depression years this enormous influx brought significant prosperity to the region. Large numbers of his patients claimed to be cured or relieved by this method and his reputation spread throughout North America and overseas.
In 1940 the top selling brand of health-footwear was ‘Lockewedge’, designed & approved by Dr. M.W. Locke as he felt ill-fitting shoes contributed to foot pains. This orthopedic shoe was made by The Perth Shoe Company in Canada.
Films of him working show that the manipulative procedure was rapid, lasting between 5 -7 seconds. Sometimes he would also manipulate the hands. On and on he would go, round and round in his swivel chair from foot to foot and hand to hand, having a break every few hours for a rest (or drink).
Dr Locke died February 6, 1942 from pneumonia. His brother-in law J. Alex Mc Gruer, a Chiropractor, carried on the practice, but it did not work out and it came to an end. The magic of Dr Locke was gone. Dr. Locke himself was largely forgotten, although he is remembered by some in the medical community as a pioneer in the field of reflexology.