Surgical Instrument Collection
This extensive collection contains around 10,000 historical surgical and dental instruments. These include instrument sets dating from the 17th century, a large number of instruments from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and instruments from the present day.
The collection contains instruments used, modified or donated by a number of famous surgeons including: Benjamin Brodie, William Fergusson and William Macewen. Among the most important are the instruments and scientific apparatus of Joseph Lister (1827-1912). They include some of Lister's prototype carbolic sprays and samples of the catgut ligatures which he developed, as well as his microscope and glass vessels used in his experiments on fermentation.
Objects in this collection have museum identification numbers with the prefix RCSIC.
Automatic carbolic acid steam producer, designed and used by Joseph Lister, c.1878
Resources to learn more about the instrument collection:
- The Evolution of Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated History from Ancient Times to the Twentieth Century by John Kirkup, 2006
- Antique Medical Instruments by Elisabeth Bennion, 1979