Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Musée d’histoire de la médecine, Paris

Some medieval knives used for amputations

The museum of the history of medicine is on 12 Rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, and the Odéon metro stop. It's on a side street right next to the Starbucks. The winter hours are 2-5pm, except Thursdays and Sundays. A full-price ticket is just 3.50 euros. The museum is hidden away on the third floor of a grand university building from 1803.

 As you go up, you pass paintings that demonstrate how totally sexy the study of medicine can be. Here is Jean Martin Charcot, lecturing on nervous diseases in 1882.

Here is Jules Adler's depiction of a woman receiving a transfusion of goat blood, with the horribly misguided goal of treating tuberculosis.

See the goat?

 Prosthetic hand (l), and device for keeping the mouth open (r)

 Trepanation kit

 Amputation kit

 Arm and hand prosthetic

 I'll give us one guess what these saws are for

 Lithotritie, or Lithotripsy in English, is when you break up gallstones, kidney stones or other internal stones, which this exhibit adorably termed "pierres." This is one of two best parts of the museum.

Let's take a closer look at what, exactly, they were doing with these long metal instruments


 Here's the other best part of the museum.

 Technical note: yeauuuuuuhhghhhhhhhghh
"Constructed by Efisio Marini, Italian doctor-naturalist, and presented to Napoleon III. This table is made of brains, blood, bile, liver, lungs and petrified glands, on top of which stands a foot, four ears and cut vertebrae, also petrified."

 Human body parts don't really make the best mosaic materials, though

 A gynecological exam table from the 19th century

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