Medicine in Society Collection

CSL penicillin (1944)

Image: CSL penicillin (1944)

Source: Museum Victoria

The Medicine in Society collection consists of some 7000 objects that reflect aspects of the changes in Victorian medical practice and research over the last 120 years.

This diverse collection is of national significance, telling many important Victorian and Australian stories of medicine, medical research and public health. It takes in items such as dental and surgical instruments, food models, prostheses, pharmacy furniture, medicinal herbs and psychiatric items.

Significant items:

  • General medical and surgical equipment used by Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop after the Second World War.
  • Research equipment and medicinal samples from the internationally significant Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) (1918-84).
  • A 19th-century wooden medicine chest with compartments containing a range of pharmaceuticals.
  • Prostheses and body parts from the early 20th century to the present, many designed and manufactured in Australia.
  • 19th-century medical equipment, including a blood-letting instrument, pill-making slabs and rollers, a powder stretcher and straightjackets.
  • Equipment from the Polack dental surgery in Melbourne (1930-85), including teeth-cleaning powders, samples of false teeth, anaesthesia equipment and various dental instruments.
  • Equipment from the Whitehead medical practice in Melbourne (1935-86), including a circumcision clamp, mouth gags and catheters, as well as a variety of gynaecological devices.
  • Preventative Medicine Exhibition models from the museum (1930s-1960s), including a mosquito model for the malaria exhibit (1949).
  • Cochlear implant (bionic ear) developed by Graeme Clark and his team.
  • Examples of some of the first lithium-powered pacemakers in the world, developed by Australian scientists at Teletronics and Medtronic.
  • The Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital Collection, 1904-1996.
  • Objects demonstrating contemporary uses of biotechnology in medicine.
  • The first DNA sequencer used in Australia, the ABI 370.
    • Items per page: 10 50 (showing 51 - 60) 2132 items

      • Comb - Hair, Plastic, Cream, Circa 1950 Object

        Comb - Hair, Plastic, Cream, Circa 1950

        Comb - Hair, Plastic, Cream, Circa 1950. Found under floorboards of one of the oldest buildings (1880s) at Caloola Training Centre, a mental health hospital in Sunbury, Victoria, Austra ...

        Images: 1
      • Medical Sutures - Ethicon, 1963 Object

        Medical Sutures - Ethicon, 1963

        Medical Sutures - Ethicon, 1963. Made: Johnson & Johnson Pty Ltd Ethicon - registered trade mark.,Used in the surgery of a mental health hospital in Victoria Australia

        Images: 1
      • Razor - Straight, George Wostenholm & Son, Circa 1920 Object

        Razor - Straight, George Wostenholm & Son, Circa 1920

        Razor - Straight, George Wostenholm & Son, Circa 1920. Used in a mental hospital in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Part of the male attendants' duties at psychiatric institutions like ...

        Images: 1
      • No Image Available Document

        Wall Chart - General Biology Series, Circa 1960

        Wall Chart - General Biology Series, Circa 1960. Chart used in nursing education at mental health hospitals Ararat and Lakeside Psychiatric Institutions, Victoria Australia

        Images: 0
      • Clippers - Hair, Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, 1926 Object

        Clippers - Hair, Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, 1926

        Clippers - Hair, Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, 1926. Part of the duties of attendants at psychiatric institutions was to clean and groom patients. Attendants often cut patients ...

        Images: 1
      • Ruler - Wood, Circa 1920 Object

        Ruler - Wood, Circa 1920

        Ruler - Wood, Circa 1920. Used in a mental health hospital in Victoria Australia

        Images: 1
      • Sutures - Silkworm Gut, G.F.Merson Ltd., Circa 1940 Object

        Sutures - Silkworm Gut, G.F.Merson Ltd., Circa 1940

        Sutures - Silkworm Gut, G.F.Merson Ltd., Circa 1940. Made: [illeg.] F.Merson Ltd. Manufacturer: G.F.Merson Ltd. [independent research]. Used in the surgery at Mayday Hills Hospital, a m ...

        Images: 1
      • Hair Crimping Iron, Circa 1920 Object

        Hair Crimping Iron, Circa 1920

        Hair Crimping Iron, Circa 1920. Used at Mayday Hills Hospital, a mental health hospital in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Part of the duties of attendants at psychiatric institutions ...

        Images: 1
      • Hair Clippers - circa 1920 Object

        Hair Clippers - circa 1920

        Hair clippers, circa 1920. Used at Mayday Hills Hospital, a mental health hospital in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Part of the duties of attendants at psychiatric institutions was ...

        Images: 1
      • Nails - Iron, Circa 1860 Object

        Nails - Iron, Circa 1860

        Nails - Iron, Circa 1860. Possibly hand-forged. Used in the building of the ceiling of Mayday Hills Hospital (also refered to as Beechworth Lunatic Asylum), a mental health hospital in ...

        Images: 1
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