The Chimney Sweep’s Wart

In this blog post our Human Remains Conservator, Cat Irving, looks at the history of child chimney sweeps and how the soot they came in contact with impacted their health. In 1789, poet and artist William Blake published his ‘Songs of Innocence’. Amongst the nineteen verses was one entitled ‘The Chimney Sweep’, which begins: When…

Charles Darwin, Dr Robert Knox and evolution

In this blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, takes a look at the connection between Charles Darwin and Dr. Robert Knox. Walking from the bus-stop to my work, in the Surgeon’s Hall Museums in Edinburgh’s Old town, I pass this plaque stuck on the back of the National Museum of Scotland and only…

The Delicate Brain

Our Human Remains Conservator, Cat Irving, takes a look at the fascinating story behind one of the casts on display in our Wohl Pathology Museum. James Conway died in Dublin in April 1889, at the age – ‘reputedly’ – of 111. Apart from being a little deaf, he was in good health until three weeks…

Medical Illustration vs Medical Photography

In this blog, our Project Assistant, Danielle Dray, looks at why medical illustration was favoured over medical photography at the turn of the 20th century. The blog explores the partnership that developed between David Middleton Greig and Robert Wilson Matthews. Introduction In an age where digital imaging is all around us, and pictures can be…

A Significant Moment

In this new blog our Curator, Louise Wilkie, explains more about the new surgical device that has been donated to the museum and the significance behind it. Surgeons’ Hall Museums, for the first time since the 1990s, has accepted contemporary human tissue into our collections. The unique donated surgical device highlights the possible complications associated…

Tuberculin: the cure for tuberculosis that never was.

Our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, explores the history of tuberculin. Tuberculosis Our concern about infection at any time tends to depend on those infections which are around and currently making the headlines, so we do not hear much about tuberculosis (TB) at the moment. Over the last few decades we have become most…

Julien Marmont: Forgotten Favourite or Fanciful Fraud?

In this blog post our Project Assistant, Danielle Dray, takes a look at the mysterious life of Julien Marmont. While cataloguing some new accessions, I came across a wonderful little dental mirror that I instantly fell in love with. It’s a very clever design; the curved shape and elongated handles allow the mirror to be…