An Intern’s Journey; Chapter 7: The Timeline

After finishing the banner mock-ups a majority of last week was dedicated to reading! In particular, I spent my days reading Michael Bliss’ Banting: A Biography, Dr. Banting’s memoir and Lloyd Stevenson’s Sir Frederick Banting. All three pieces went in-depth into Dr. Banting’s life and career, most notably, they all discussed his time in London.

Why is his time in London important? While Dr. Banting was not in London very long, he lived and practiced at 442 Adelaide Street north, he did write the 25-word hypothesis that would lead to the discovery of insulin, and he started painting here. With the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the idea of insulin coming up on October 31st, 2020, I was tasked with creating a timeline and social media plan that will take our social media followers through Dr. Banting’s first few months in London.

I first start with reading all the materials I had available to me that discussed his time in London in some capacity. I tagged all mentions of London with sticky notes and made my way book by book. I then created a document and began to create a table that listed all the dates identified in the books and the event or information that is connected to that date.

After a while, I did notice that there was quite a large chunk of information that had unclear timing. Thankfully, since I had so many resources at my disposal I began to cross reference the information to see if a date could be found in another one. I was able to find concrete dates/timing for some of the dates, there is still quite a bit that was left unclear! In this case, I become a detective and use deductive reasoning based on the other information to place it in a “best educated guess” place based on what I do have concrete dates for.

Regardless of all the information having concrete dates, the timeline is still quite interesting! Being able to piece together and see Dr. Banting’s life, hobbies, daily activities, and obstacles has been really rewarding.

After creating the timeline, I started to take the information, facts and quotes I found and began to turn them into a social media plan that we can use to not only generate content for our socials, but also as a way to start kicking off the 100th anniversary celebrations! What better way to start to celebrate than to be able to show Dr. Banting’s life leading up until that restless night of sleep. The hashtag “OnThisDay” is a great way to get engagement on social media, while being able to transport followers back in time briefly!

The first post we did was on June 19th, where we talked about the Hill’s family preparing for Dr. Banting’s arrival and people really seemed to enjoy it! So, using that format I started to create other social media posts using the research I’ve done.

Make sure to follow us on our social media as we start to take you back in time to 1920 London, Ontario starting next week!

My takeaways for the week:

  • Dr. Banting’s memoir is quite enthralling, he’s definitely an interesting writer!
  • I can relate to Dr. Banting and the difficulty of navigating a new city/London.

This post was written by Kat MacDonald, an intern at Banting House NHSC. Kat is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.

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