Pain, pus, and bloodBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7085.984 (Published 29 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:984
- James Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
The Thackray Medical Museum opened in Leeds on 25 March, claiming to be the only one of its kind in the world. It was inspired by a collection of 25 000 medical objects amassed by Paul Thackray, great grandson of the founder of the Leeds firm of equipment manufacturers. Its uniqueness, however, comes from “looking at medicine through the eyes of ordinary people.”
As far as the museum is concerned, medical history begins in 1842 with the Chadwick report into poverty in early Victorian Britain. The wretched conditions of the poor in Leeds inspired some memorable passages in the report, and museum visitors congregate in front of a video screen to hear these. The measured anger of the reformers is still impressive.
Visitors then pass through a vivid …