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) 1249 items

      • 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
      • Leg Brace - Steel, Circa 1920 Object

        Leg Brace - Steel, Circa 1920

        Leg Brace - Steel, Circa 1920. Used at Mayday Hills Hospital, a mental health hospital in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Made: Matthews, Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn, London.

        Images: 1
      • Fencing - Cast Iron (part of), Circa 1880 Object

        Fencing - Cast Iron (part of), Circa 1880

        Fencing - Cast Iron (part of), Circa 1880. Possibly used for outer fencing at Beechworth Asylum, Beechworth, Victoria, Australia

        Images: 1
      • Auger, circa 1848 Object

        Auger, circa 1848

        Auger, Circa 1848. Alternative Name(s): Drill. Used by staff at a mental health hospital in Victoria Australia

        Images: 1
      • Hand Drill - Metal, Circa 1848 Object

        Hand Drill - Metal, Circa 1848

        Hand Drill - Metal, Circa 1848. This drill was used for making holes in wooden posts for post and rail fences. Probably last used early this century, on one of the farms attached to a m ...

        Images: 1
      • Poker - Fire, Iron, Circa 1930 Object

        Poker - Fire, Iron, Circa 1930

        Poker - Fire, Iron, Circa 1930. Used at mental health hospital Mayday Hills, Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Probably made in the blacksmith's shop at the Hospital. Wards in the Hospi ...

        Images: 1
      • Poker - Fire, Iron, Circa 1930 Object

        Poker - Fire, Iron, Circa 1930

        Poker - Fire, Iron, Circa 1930. Used at mental health hospital Mayday Hills, Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Probably made in the blacksmith's shop at the Hospital. Wards in the Hospi ...

        Images: 1
      • Branding Iron - LW, Circa 1920 Object

        Branding Iron - LW, Circa 1920

        Branding Iron - LW, Circa 1920. Used at mental health hospital Mayday Hills Hospital Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Mayday Hills Hospital ran a substantial farm and stock were raised ...

        Images: 1
      • Branding Iron - B, Circa 1920 Object

        Branding Iron - B, Circa 1920

        Branding Iron - B, Circa 1920. Used at mental health hospital Mayday Hills Hospital Beechworth, Victoria, Australia. Mayday Hills Hospital ran a substantial farm and stock were raised f ...

        Images: 1
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