History of Medicine Artifacts

Historical medical instruments, artifacts and other objects ranging in age from the 16th to 20th centuries

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Davis - Patent Magneto - Electric Machine for Nervous Diseases, after 1854 homst54081
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Spring lancet, 19th century homst54050
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Breast pump, undated homst03062
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Burmese apothecary jar, 19th century? homst03010
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Pocket hypodermic kit, undated homst45003

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

History of Medicine artifacts collection 1550-1980s

Collection #RL.10155 | 50 Linear Feet; about 850 items

Collection of historical medical instruments and artifacts, art objects, realia, and other three-dimensional objects related to the history of medicine, primarily originating from Europe and the United States, but including some artifacts from China and Japan. Ranging in age from the late 16th to the late 20th centuries, objects include medical kits and pharmaceutical items (often in the original cases and bags); equipment used in amputation, obstetrics, opthalmology, surgery, urology, neurology, early electrical therapies, and in research and diagnostic settings; instructional objects such as anatomical models and figurines; and other objects such as apothecary jars, cupping glasses, infant feeders, a bas-relief memento mori, and fetish figures. There are many models of microscopes and stethoscopes, dating from the 17th to the 20th century. Forms part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

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Adopted by Harsha Murthy T'81 in memory of M.S.N. Murthy, M.D.

The preservation of the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections and the Duke Digital Repository programs are supported in part by the Lowell and Eileen Aptman Digital Preservation Fund