Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Science Museum, London "Brought To Life" Website

The Science Museum of London is launching an ambitious and amazing sounding website this March entitled Brought to Life: Exploring the History of Medicine. The website will present images of, and details about, 2,500 fantastic objects illustrating centuries of medical history from around the world. Many of these objects have never been on public view; others are on display in the (wonderful) health and medicine galleries of the museum. The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust, and the website will feature access to items from the Wellcome Trust collection held by the Science Museum.

The intriguing images above--sent to me very kindly by Lisa O'Sullivan, Senior Medical Curator of The Science Museum--are just a very few that will be included on the new website. I will feature more in days to come!

Object details, from top to bottom:
1) A70549 Wooden snuff box, France 1801-1830
Snuffbox with three views of a phrenological skull. There is a key on the base of the box. For example number 6 equals the ability to see colour and number 24, good-naturedness.

2) A642804 Set of 60 miniature heads used in phrenology, Manchester, 1831
The heads were made by William Bally who studied phrenology under Spurzheim from 1828 onwards. The heads may have been used to teach phrenology but were probably made as a general reference collection. A wide range of different heads are present. For instance head number 54 is that of a scientific man, and head number 8 is recorded as the head of an ‘idiot.’

3) A645154 Ivory and horn model of an eye, Europe, 1601-1700
The model unscrews to show the different parts of the eye including the cornea, , the pupil, the iris, the jelly-like vitreous humour that fills most of the eyeball and the optic nerve that transmits messages to the brain.

All images © The Science Museum

1 comment:

Derek C. F. Pegritz said...

Second pic down, caption: "One of these things is not like the others."

WOW, would I like to use that picture as an album cover....