A Doctor's Delights Discoveries from the Richard Travers Collection

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Work in the lab ended early today. Majority of the people in Prince Henry's Institute are already in Christmas mood, conversation topics often revolve around the celebration of this upcoming festive season.

Since I have half of the afternoon free, I attended an exhibition on medical history, " A Doctor's Delights: Discoveries from the Richard Travers Collection" held in Sir Louis Matheson Library.

Have you ever pondered how the word "medicine" came about? The word medicine is actually derived from the Latin "Medicina", meaning the art of healing(Wikipedia). Early records on medicine have been discovered from early Ayurvedic medicine in the Indian continents not forgetting to mention about ancient Egyptian medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and Greek medicine that uses animals,plants and even bodily fluid as therapeutic agents.

Since then, medicine has improved by leaps and bounds as what we can observe today owing mainly to the invaluable field of modern scientific biomedical research. Some of the medical books and artifacts displayed there were from the 16th centuries, indeed intriguingly arousing. 20 mins of my life was spent walking down the memory lane of medicine.

Looking at the history of medicine shows how ideas have developed over the centuries. Medical barbers were the fore-runners of today's skilled surgeons; Leonardo Da Vinci was amongst the first to dissect the human body, trying to figure out the anatomy of the mysterious human body as well as to learn how it works. Till today, medical students still learn about anatomy in the same way.

Below are some pictures that I've managed to capture with my mobile, not the best of quality. I apologize for that. Will be paying a second visit within these few days for more pictures of the collection, stay tuned.


The Anatomy of the Brain with a Description of the Nerves and their Function (1664) by the British physician Thomas Willis (1621-1675) is one of the older items in the collection. A book from the founder of the circle of Willis! How fascinating!

Bernard, Claude, 1813-1878, Illustrated manual of operative surgery and surgical anatomy. This book basically talks about surgical techniques involved in different procedures. Picture depicts surgical amputation of the upper limb(fingers).
Insulin: Its use in diabetes/ Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, Department of Health, 1925. The therapeutic potential of insulin in maintaining glycemia in diabetic patients has been recognised since 1925!

Cole's atlas of anatomy and physiology of the human body.(Melbourne : E.W. Cole Book Arcade, [191-?]). Early atas of human anatomy!

Early prescription record in a local drug store.

The anatomy of gravid uterus by William Hunter(Not the one who discovered the adductor canal)! Quite a renown anatomist 1718-1783.
Intracranial Tunours: Notes upon a series of two thousand verified cases with surgical mortality percentages pertaining thereto/ by Harvey Cushing. A book by the same neurosurgeon who discovered Cushing's Disease!

4 comments:

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marshall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marshall said...

the discovery from richard travers colletion is new to my i want so see what type of discovery he made .i hope he discover something for the hair loss other wise i will buy propecia online.