The Old Operating Theatre Museum

The Old Operating Theatre Museum The Old Operating Theatre Museum, and Herb Garret is one of the most unusual Museums in London. It i
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If you're looking for a gift for a garden/plant lover, might we recommend the lovely Jekka's Herb Farm herbal tea towel?...
05/12/2023

If you're looking for a gift for a garden/plant lover, might we recommend the lovely Jekka's Herb Farm herbal tea towel?

Screenprinted with a beautiful herbal design, it's perfect for catching loose drops of Jekka's tea! ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿต

Available now in the Old Op Shop:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com/products/herbal-tea-towel

Join us on the evening of December 13th for Mat Jones' solo performance of Dickens' A Christmas Carol!Immerse yourself i...
03/12/2023

Join us on the evening of December 13th for Mat Jones' solo performance of Dickens' A Christmas Carol!

Immerse yourself in this ghostly tale in our historic space, bringing in the festive season with this vivid rendition of the famous Christmas story.

As one guest recently noted: โ€œI would recommend anyone to go and watch this man, heโ€™s brilliant at what he does.โ€

More information and tickets can be found at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/a-christmas-carol-a-one-man-performance/

We've selected a few   products that we think make especially good gifts for this winter!From stocking stuffers to sooth...
02/12/2023

We've selected a few products that we think make especially good gifts for this winter!

From stocking stuffers to soothing salves, we have a little something for everyone--even those who are *impossible* to buy for!

See the full collection at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com/collections/gifts

If you're looking for a warm treat on these chillier nights, might we recommend the Jekka's Herb Farm 'Good Night' herba...
01/12/2023

If you're looking for a warm treat on these chillier nights, might we recommend the Jekka's Herb Farm 'Good Night' herbal infusion tea?

Combining chamomile with lime blossom and lemon balm, this tea blend is the perfect way to unwind after a long day of work.

Find it (along with other Jekka's tea blends) over in the Old Op Shop:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com/products/herbal-infusion-tea-good-night

As we promised, here's a little more about John Taylor (1703โ€“1772), the St Thomasโ€™ Hospital-trained oculist accused of b...
30/11/2023

As we promised, here's a little more about John Taylor (1703โ€“1772), the St Thomasโ€™ Hospital-trained oculist accused of blinding Handel and killing Bach! Denounced as a charlatan by the medical profession, he became more famous for his showmanship than his surgical skills. Dr Johnson described him as โ€œthe most ignorant man I ever knew โ€ฆ an instance of how far impudence will carry ignoranceโ€. He advertised himself as surgeon-oculist to George II, and "Ophthalmiater Royal" to the Pope, the Emperor, and even a mythical Princess of Georgia!

But Taylor wasnโ€™t your average panacea-peddling mountebank. He studied under pioneering surgeon William Cheselden and published two books containing insights into strabismus (misaligned eyes), which were incorporated into ophthalmology over a century later!

Despite these achievements, Taylor became the archetypal itinerant quack. Dubbing himself "Chevalier", he travelled around Europe in a coach covered in paintings of eyes! His arrival was publicised days before to draw the largest crowd, and payments were arranged so this chevalier could beat a hasty retreat before the patientsโ€™ bandages were removed! Taylor's high-profile operations on composers Handel and Bach led to accusations that he caused their blindness and even Bachโ€™s death four months later. Thereโ€™s no doubt Taylor blinded hundreds of people during his long career.

Ironically, Taylor spent the last few years of his life completely blind. His dubious career contained flashes of operative skill and medical innovation, but his greatest gift was self-promotion. If only he'd used his stellar marketing powers for good instead of greed!

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/explore

๐Ÿ“ธ John Taylor (1703โ€“1772), by John Faber junior (after Paul Ryche), National Portrait Gallery, London
๐Ÿ“ธ Taylor's coach, from Chevalier John Taylor, Englandโ€™s Early Oculist: Pretender or Pioneer?, Albert & Atzen, 2011

This set of 19th-century   contains delicate surgical instruments. Most have ivory handles, including a fine scalpel, a ...
30/11/2023

This set of 19th-century contains delicate surgical instruments. Most have ivory handles, including a fine scalpel, a thin steel rod with a tiny ball tip, a steel shaft with an angled trowel-shaped tip, and a small open hook. The device with dials is an ophthalmoscope used for inspecting the back of the eye. That's right, this set was used for examination and surgery of the eyes! ๐Ÿ‘€ A common procedure was called "couching for cataracts", which involved various techniques to move a clouded lens out of the line of the pupil, allowing the patient to regain their sight. St Thomas' Hospital established a reputation for ophthalmology in the 17th century thanks to physicians like William Briggs, who was the first to specialise in this branch of medicine. However, not all patients entrusted their eye complaints to hospital surgeons. Many chose to pay travelling practitioners for these delicate procedures! The most successful of these was John "Chevalier" Taylor, the St Thomasโ€™ Hospital-trained oculist who, during his dubious career, was accused of blinding Handel and killing Bach! Despite studying under pioneering surgeon William Cheselden, Taylor became the archetypal itinerant quack, travelling around Europe in a coach covered in paintings of eyes! ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

You can learn more about John Taylor from one of our previous posts. Look out for a repost later today! ๐Ÿ˜€

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/collection

๐Ÿ“ธ Bernard & Huette, Illustrated manual of operative surgery and surgical anatomy, 1855, Wellcome Collection

If you're looking for gifts for some young'uns (or those young at heart!) this winter, might we recommend the Toys and G...
29/11/2023

If you're looking for gifts for some young'uns (or those young at heart!) this winter, might we recommend the Toys and Games section of our recently-revamped online shop?

Puzzles, plushies, playing cards and more, all inspired by the Old Op objects collection:

๐ŸŽ https://shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com/collections/toys-games

There's still time to bag 10% off in our new revamped online shop for  ! ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ›’Every purchase made today also puts you in...
26/11/2023

There's still time to bag 10% off in our new revamped online shop for ! ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ›’

Every purchase made today also puts you in a draw to win a ยฃ55 goodie bag, filled with a variety of Old Op Shop bestsellers!

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com/

Today is  ! The perfect time to support our small museum shop AND grab a gift for someone special! ๐Ÿ›๏ธ ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐ŸŽ  If you shop o...
26/11/2023

Today is ! The perfect time to support our small museum shop AND grab a gift for someone special! ๐Ÿ›๏ธ ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐ŸŽ

If you shop online at our brand new Old Op Apothecary Shop, shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com, you receive 10% off everything! And that's not all; every customer online or onsite gets entered into our prize draw for this brilliant goody bag. So head on over to the museum today, say hello to Grace, pictured, and pick up a treat. We're open until 5pm.

Tonightโ€™s wonderful talk by Suzie Grogan on Death, Disease and Dissection was the perfect theme for a dark November even...
23/11/2023

Tonightโ€™s wonderful talk by Suzie Grogan on Death, Disease and Dissection was the perfect theme for a dark November evening. Followed by some pomander making and Christmas crafts. Only two museum events left before the end of the year, so get tickets whilst you can!

Pills dispensed for all manner of ailments became lucrative   from the 18th century. This little bottle dates from the 1...
23/11/2023

Pills dispensed for all manner of ailments became lucrative from the 18th century. This little bottle dates from the 1940s and contained "the great remedy for gout, rheumatism, sciatica, and lumbago"! Best of all, these pills required "no restraint of diet"!

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/collection/

This Sunday is  ! Shop online on Sunday, 26th November and receive 10% off everything! A perfect opportunity to get star...
22/11/2023

This Sunday is ! Shop online on Sunday, 26th November and receive 10% off everything! A perfect opportunity to get started on some Holiday Shopping.

Our new online shop is officially OPEN!Providing Time-Tested Cures for the Modern World. Head to our website to find out...
20/11/2023

Our new online shop is officially OPEN!
Providing Time-Tested Cures for the Modern World. Head to our website to find out what our resident Apothecary Mildred recommends.

https://shop.oldoperatingtheatre.com/

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the museum will be closed this weekend, 18 and 19 of November 2023. We will ret...
17/11/2023

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the museum will be closed this weekend, 18 and 19 of November 2023. We will return to our regular Public Opening Hours on Thursday, 23 November 2023. Apologies for the inconvenience! Until then, our tiny flying alligator wants to know if you have checked out our Youtube channel. ๐Ÿ‘‰https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9hortvJIP8su_LDhkY9rXQ
There are a few new exciting talks to enjoy while we are closed!๐Ÿ™‚

She is back for anonther journey into the history of pathology through her amazing Virtual Autopsies! So join award-winn...
17/11/2023

She is back for anonther journey into the history of pathology through her amazing Virtual Autopsies! So join award-winning pathologist Dr Suzy Lishman CBE to learn what a modern autopsy (post-mortem examination) involves, and how plants, herbs, and other drugs can cure or kill. With the help of a living model, Dr Lishman will demonstrate where the major organs are, common conditions and the drugs that affect them.

Although there will be no dead body, blood or body parts, this talk is not for the squeamish!

And remember that our Apothecary Bar will be open after the talk so you can purchase one of our popular themed cocktails and engage in additional activities in the museum after hours!

Book your tickets here ๐Ÿ‘‰https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/living-autopsy-pills-purges-poisons-nov2023/

Say hello to Laneโ€™s bone-setting   from the mid-19th century! The heavy oval-shaped handle is attached to a long rod wit...
17/11/2023

Say hello to Laneโ€™s bone-setting from the mid-19th century! The heavy oval-shaped handle is attached to a long rod with a flattened and serrated end for use as a lever during procedures. The dent in the middle of the handle increased the operator's grip on the instrument!

Explore our collections online, wherever you are! ๐ŸŒ
๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/collection/

14/11/2023

Sink into the classic tale of Victorian Christmas and the redemption of Londonโ€™s most memorable miser, as we follow Scrooge through his encounters with the spirits of Christmas. This captivating one-man performance brings the story to life with its abundance of much-loved characters and familiar scenes that usher in the geniality and joy of the festive season. Sit back and take in this quintessential Christmas tale, reinvigorated from the authorโ€™s original words, performed in the atmosphere and history of Europeโ€™s oldest surviving operating theatre.

Unmissable! Last few tickets remaining! Book today ๐Ÿ‘‰https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/a-christmas-carol-a-one-man-performance/

We love   that have style! This pocket case contains a hypodermic syringe, needles and glass phials! The pharmaceutical ...
09/11/2023

We love that have style! This pocket case contains a hypodermic syringe, needles and glass phials! The pharmaceutical company Burroughs, Wellcome & Co manufactured this portable kit. The phials contained tiny tablets that would be crushed and diluted in water before the solution was injected under the patientโ€™s skin. The tablets contained compounds of plant substances used in 19th-century medicine, including strychnine, co***ne, atropine, and digitalis! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Why not explore our online collections to learn more about medicine in the past!
๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/collection/

It's  ! ๐ŸฌโœจIf you've eaten all of your Halloween sweets and are looking for something a tad more adventurous, can we sugg...
04/11/2023

It's ! ๐Ÿฌโœจ

If you've eaten all of your Halloween sweets and are looking for something a tad more adventurous, can we suggest our Sugar Dusted Bogies from ?

Extra-large, for ogres of all ages! Find them below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/product/sugar-dusted-bogies/

Oops! We did it again and adopted six new leeches! They are medicinal leeches from Wales and when our volunteers are aro...
03/11/2023

Oops! We did it again and adopted six new leeches! They are medicinal leeches from Wales and when our volunteers are around during our opening days, they can tell you all about them and their history! Come to the museum to learn some fun facts about these tiny vampires! ๐Ÿง›๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Join us for a virtual event on the 16th of November with Mellany Ambrose, author of 'Mr Hammond and the Poetic Apprentic...
02/11/2023

Join us for a virtual event on the 16th of November with Mellany Ambrose, author of 'Mr Hammond and the Poetic Apprentice'.

The book is a historical novel about the seven years John Keats spent training in medicine before he chose to follow poetry. Told from the viewpoint of Thomas Hammond, the apothecary surgeon training Keats, it explores how such a supposedly sensitive soul as Keats might have coped in an era with no anaesthetics or antibiotics, why he abandoned medicine for poetry, and how doctors cope with suffering.

More info and tickets can be found at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/mr-hammond-the-poetic-apprentice-in-conversation-with-mellany-ambrose/

Among our collection of anaesthetic   is Edward William Murphyโ€™s chloroform inhaler dating from the 1870s! Shortly after...
02/11/2023

Among our collection of anaesthetic is Edward William Murphyโ€™s chloroform inhaler dating from the 1870s! Shortly after chloroformโ€™s introduction by James Young Simpson in 1847, it quickly became apparent that accurate dosages and efficient administering techniques were needed to help patients survive anaesthesia! This hand-held inhaler is designed with a flared cone mouthpiece and soft pink fabric-lined rim for comfort and practical application. A chloroform-soaked sponge was enclosed in the circular compartment. The patient breathed in the vapour, and expired air passed through an opening in the upper part of the mouthpiece. Murphy was an obstetrician who gave the inhaler to women during childbirth. He advised them to inhale only when the pain was unbearable during contractions, but not between them!

Our website is packed full of ways to learn more about our collections, whether you're on-site or online!
๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/

Join us for an Evening Workshop on November 27th where we'll be teaching you all about Lino Carving and Rubbings! Start ...
01/11/2023

Join us for an Evening Workshop on November 27th where we'll be teaching you all about Lino Carving and Rubbings!

Start the evening by exploring the multitude of fascinating objects and images in the museum, taking inspiration from these to draw or sketch your own motif or symbol. Next youโ€™ll learn from Jo Elizabeth May, one of our Local Artist Ambassadors, all about the basics of lino carving to create your own unique carved surface. Finally, youโ€™ll experiment by taking rubbings of your carving and refining your work as you see fit.

A truly unique artistic experience in Europe's oldest surviving surgical theatre!

More info and tickets can be found at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/an-evening-workshop-lino-carving-and-rubbings/

Happy Halloween! ๐ŸŽƒIf you're looking for something spooky to do this week, this Friday evening we'll be joined by the won...
31/10/2023

Happy Halloween! ๐ŸŽƒ

If you're looking for something spooky to do this week, this Friday evening we'll be joined by the wonderful Stacey Abbott for a talk all about vampires and their depictions across a historical range of media!๐Ÿฆ‡โšฐ๏ธ

Drawing examples from a range of film and television series, including The Hunger (1992), Blade 2 (2002), Daybreakers (2009), and The Strain (2014-2017), this lecture will examine how the vampire itself has become the object of a medical gaze, repeatedly presented as an object of scientific scrutiny, analysis, and experimentation.

Find out more info below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/something-in-the-blood-putting-the-vampire-under-a-microscope/

Join us on the evening of November 8th for a night of medically-themed stand-up comedy, stories, and silliness from some...
30/10/2023

Join us on the evening of November 8th for a night of medically-themed stand-up comedy, stories, and silliness from some of Londonโ€™s funniest people!

Our MC Dr Steve Cross has carefully collected an incredible line-up of comedians, historians, and medical professionals to entertain you in the historic surroundings of The Old Operating Theatre.

Find out more information and purchase your ticket(s) at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/science-showoff-cures-all-ills/

Welcome to  ! The   has been collecting visitors' remedies for the mind, body, and soul since early 2021. We will be sha...
30/10/2023

Welcome to ! The has been collecting visitors' remedies for the mind, body, and soul since early 2021. We will be sharing the best with you here!
Today's thought: "Do you know how I get to where I am going? By walking away from where I have been."
Want to learn more? You can visit our website by following the link below to our website!
๐Ÿ‘‰https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/

On the evening of November 3rd, we'll be joined by the wonderful Stacey Abbott for a talk all about vampires and their d...
29/10/2023

On the evening of November 3rd, we'll be joined by the wonderful Stacey Abbott for a talk all about vampires and their depictions across a historical range of media, with a special focus on what blood means to the genre! ๐Ÿฆ‡โšฐ๏ธ

The answer to our questions about what the vampire means to us is in the blood; itโ€™s something in the blood...

Find out more and purchase your ticket(s) at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/event-posts/something-in-the-blood-putting-the-vampire-under-a-microscope/

Are you a teacher or group leader looking to provide a fascinating medical history experience for your group? We have yo...
28/10/2023

Are you a teacher or group leader looking to provide a fascinating medical history experience for your group? We have you covered!

We offer an in-person Victorian Surgery Talk and a Public Health Walk, both suitable for various ages!

Find out more information at the link below:

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/groups/

Last night we had the privilege of witnessing a piece of our history come to live in the   for the .londonbridge Festiva...
26/10/2023

Last night we had the privilege of witnessing a piece of our history come to live in the for the .londonbridge Festival! Thank you, Dan Saski & Janet Collard, for such a moving performance! โค And thank you for helping us make this event possible! ๐Ÿ˜

Obstetric   like this membrane perforator were used at old St Thomasโ€™ Hospital in the mid-19th century! This instrument ...
26/10/2023

Obstetric like this membrane perforator were used at old St Thomasโ€™ Hospital in the mid-19th century! This instrument was used to break the waters to induce childbirth. The perforator has an ornate ebony handle with a crosshatch design and an ivory button that operates a blade hidden in the tip of the steel rod! When the end of this shaft reached the foetus, the ivory button was pressed, and the blade was projected forward approximately 10mm to rupture the surrounding membrane and release the amniotic fluid. Membrane perforators are still used, but they have a much safer design that minimises the risk of injury to mother and baby. And they are sterile!

Discover more about our instruments and their uses by exploring our website!
๐Ÿ‘‰ https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/explore/

Such an amazing herbal pharmacy demo by Patricia Ferguson that we had today! Thanks to For sponsoring this event! ๐Ÿ˜     ...
25/10/2023

Such an amazing herbal pharmacy demo by Patricia Ferguson that we had today! Thanks to
For sponsoring this event! ๐Ÿ˜

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9A St Thomas Street
London
SE19RY

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