Collection

Along with the original collection and archive of Chas. F. Thackray Ltd, the Thackray medical company, the collection now includes over 48,000 objects, 15,000 medical and healthcare trade catalogues, and 9,000 books, illustrating the unique contribution of the medical and healthcare industry to the development of medicine and its practice.

Here are just a few highlights from our vast collection:

  • Prince Albert’s personal medicine chest used to treat minor ailments, complete with the original labelled medicine bottles.
  • Hitler’s blood transfusion set, kept aboard his official yacht, the Grille, in case of emergency.
  • A correction frame, made in 1700 and illustrated in the inventor’s book, Opera Chirurgica. A 1723 edition of the book is held by the Thackray Medical Museum.

Although our collection is wide-ranging, its particular strengths are:

  • European surgical instruments from the 1600s to the present, and makers’ patterns from the late 1800s.
  • Hospital and dental equipment, including an important collection of British anaesthetic equipment.
  • Mainly British first-aid equipment and household medicine.
  • British patent medicines and quack cures.
  • Medically themed medals, tokens and coins.
  • A nationally significant collection of hearing aids and audiology equipment, including the British Society of Audiology collection.
  • The J F Wilkinson Pharmaceutical Ceramics Collection