europe trip: chapter 18 (once-alive things in jars)

april 23

today we went to the hunterian museum. it’s located inside the royal college of surgeons of england, and is basically a collecion of dead things and surgery tools. really quite morbid and disturbing, but at the same time, extremely fascinating. this was another place that wouldn’t let you take pictures, so that’s no fun… FOR YOU GUYS!!!!!

i’ll try and link some of the cool stuff, or find pics online or something. so… here we go:

the first thing you see, when you walk into the main gallery are the evelyn tables. they are four wooden boards, upon which dissected parts of the human body have been glued. the boards are nothing but veins, nerves, or arteries layed out as they would be within the body.

evelyn tables

evelyn tables

then, right next to those was the skeleton of jonathan wild, who, as it turns out, was a rather special type of criminal, and a print of “the reward of cruelty” by william hogarth. there was also a placard telling of how, back in the old days, one of the punishments for a life of crime was having your dead body dissected. but then, if you think about the resurrection-men, and how they’d probably just dig you up anyway, i’m not sure if it’s really that much of a punishment.

reward of cruelty william hogarth
“the reward of cruelty”

we started out as part of a tour, but the lady was basically just reading the placards, so we split away from the goup and went off on our own. i’ll try and remember some of my favorite things, and share them with you.

rooster with talons on head
this is a rooster who had some talons surgically attached to his head.

yeah… ol’ john hunter was a real big creep. he also tried to surgically attach human teeth to chicken heads. didn’t work out very well…

natalie liked the bones a lot. such as this one affected by osteomyelitis osteomyelitis

and of course there were the classic things like monkey paws
monkey paw
and human fetuses
human fetus
and corrosion casts
corrosion cast

there were plenty of skulls, but only two other full skeletons; one was the 7′ 7″ tall charles byrne’s (purchased by john hunter, even though charles requested multiple times to be buried at sea), the other belonged to some poor soul by the name of mr. jeffs, who had fibrodysplasis ossificans progressiva. basically… whenever his muscles were injured in any way, bone would form in the connective tissue. it was pretty crazy looking, but i couldn’t find a good picture of him. so… here’s some other poor soul:
fibrodyspasis ossificans

now… to change the subject ever so slightly… i’m gonna show you some of the best surgical instruments…

clockwork dental drill
clockwork dental drill

an encraseur, used to snare and cut off a tumor at it’s base.

tonsil guillotine
tonsil guillotine. does about what you’d expect.

soldier ant
soldier ants. Soldier ants were used as clips for wounds by ancient Hindus around 1000 BC. The ant bites the two sides of the wounds with its large mandibles and draws the two sides of the wound togther. The ant’s body is then twisted off. This is a similar principle to the modern clip and staple technique.

most of these pictures were taken from the surgicat website.

well… i’m worn out, so i guess if you want to see more things in jars, you’ll have to come to london?

okay. one more.


4 responses to “europe trip: chapter 18 (once-alive things in jars)

  1. phopheveand

    Hello my friends :)

  2. hahahaha what?!

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