Earlier this year I visited the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds.
This offers the public a wonderful mix of the history of medicine, medical innovations and of public sanitation in the Victorian era.
It is the brainchild of Paul Thackray, grandson of Charles Frederick Thackray, the founder of Chas. F. Thackray Ltd of Leeds, a medical supply company that began trading as a pharmacy in 1910. In the 1980s Paul started a small company museum and after the family business was sold in 1990, a charitable trust was established to extend the company’s collection. The museum was opened in 1997.
The late seventeenth century frame pictured above was probably made by an armourer and not made to be worn as a whole suit, but as a demonstration model to illustrate the different types of support available. Note that all four limbs are different.
The ceiling of the grand entrance of the museum.
Top tip: take a clothes peg, the museum shares the smells of what it was like living in the dark courts of Leeds before public sanitation changes.
It is a family-friendly museum but it does warn that the darker areas may be a little scary for younger visitors.
Above are some of the exhibits showing the products that would be sold in Chemist and Druggists stores in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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Thackray Medical Museum