The concept for this web site evolved over a period of about thirty years. It was my original intent to develop a collection of antique medical instruments that could serve as a nidus for a museum of medical history as evidenced by the objects that contributed to its development.
It soon became apparent, unlike the situation in Europe, that there was little or no interest in the creation of a medical museum in the United States although there are a large number of antique medical instrument collectors and dealers. In Europe, most cities and many hospitals have significant historic medical collections. In the United States these collections are few and far between. In lieu of a physical museum, the concept began to evolve in 2007 of creating a book to showcase my collection of over 1000 objects and to include detailed descriptions and commentary.
Such a project would be impractical because of the publication costs. However, with further thought I realized that the web is the perfect site for such an endeavor. A website of medical historic objects could be quite large, easily searched and could have countless photos. In addition the images could be magnified to show detail that could not be appreciated in a physical museum.
I have taken well over a thousand photos of the objects representing a wide range of medical practice and of craftsmanship. Some objects were acquired simply because they have some medical significance, others for their beauty, but all of them because they help to understand the evolution of medicine over the centuries. This site is a gigantic undertaking and will evolve over many years. The material presented here is a first effort. I welcome comments, corrections and .
I would like to thank the following for their contributions to the formulation of this site and the collections shown here:
My wife Paulette for her help in finding and cataloguing the many items shown;
Fusion Lab for the website design (Alon Koppel and Melissa Weaver);
Mrs. Nolie Mumie who generously gave me the stethoscope drawings shown here and related supporting materials;
Dr and Mrs. Erwin Rugendorff who provided a great deal of helpful advice.
The many medical antique dealers and rare book dealers who made items of interest available to me.
I would also like to point out an additional reference source, the Proceedings of the Medical Collectors Association, a group that I founded. These discussions can be found on the website generously established by Jim Edmonson. A variety of other very useful sites can be found in the links page. It also should be noted that the a listing of the manufacturers and their locations can be found on the tab for the glossary.
NOTE: In some Web Browsers it is necessary to run this program in compatibility mode for full functionality. All of the photos will be bright and clear if the browser is set correctly.
I SUGGEST THAT YOU WATCH THE SLIDE SHOW ABOVE, WHICH STARTS SPONTANEOUSLY BEFORE YOU EXPLORE THE SITE. OBJECTS IN THE SLIDE SHOW CAN BE VIEWED INDIVIDUALLY BY LEFT CLICKING ON THEM. FOR A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW CLICK THE INSTRUMENTS TAB AND CHOOSE THE SUBJECT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN OR JUST BROWSE THE CATEGORIES. A NEW SECTION ON MEDICAL BOTTLES HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE QUACKERY CATEGORY. IT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, BUT WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON. IT CAN BE REVIEWED IN PRELIMINARY FORM AT THIS TIME.