Learn about the fascinating collection of medical artefacts by delving into some of the themes that categorise our objects.

The themes outlined here are just a small representation of the extensive assortment of instruments and equipment found in the Museum of Medicine and Health.

Explore the themes

Diagnostic instruments

Includes urology catheters, cystoscopies and all types of endoscopes including a rare Cruise endoscope dating to 1865, designed by Sir Francis Richard Cruise (1834-1912) of Dublin. A variety of stethoscopes are contained in the collection, including the monaural type.

Oncology and Radiology

Includes mid-20th century equipment for x-ray therapy and measuring radiation dose, as well as objects donated by Dr Brian Fox PhD (1929-1999), Professor of Oncology, who had an international reputation for his work on cancer chemotherapy.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Includes speculums, pelvimeters, curettes, breast pumps and nipple shields. Representative of the changes in assisted childbirth, the Museum houses a collection of obstetric forceps dating as early as the 1840s.


A collection of instruments for treating fractures, bone instruments, tourniquets and amputation sets alongside items belonging to Sir John Charnley (1911-1982), pioneer of the total hip replacement. In addition, a collection of prosthetic limbs and wooden splints, some used during the First World War.


Includes 18th century Delftware apothecary drug jars, pill rollers, pharmacy bottles, medicine measures, dispensing balances, scales, and various bench equipment.


Includes ear, nose and throat surgical instruments (including objects from the Duchess of York Hospital for Babies), neurosurgery instruments and sutures. Contains anaesthetic equipment donated by Dr Nasim Naqvi, a retired Bolton anaesthetist and medical antique collector. This area of the collection includes fine instruments made by J&W Wood, a Manchester surgical instrument company who were in business between 1833 and 1933.

Audiology, Ophthalmology and Optometry

Includes a collection of communication aids, such as an ear trumpet and examples of mid to late 20th century NHS prescribed hearing aids. Spectacles and frames donated from the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and our own optometry department, as well as colour vision test equipment.

Medical education

Contains training aids including anatomy wax and papier-mâché teaching models, stereoscopic viewing cards and magic lantern slides. Also includes doctors’ property, laboratory equipment, Manchester Medical School items, microscopes, physiology equipment and medical awards and medals.

Hull Grundy Collection

Over 200 medical related artefacts gifted by prolific collectors Anne Hull Grundy (1926–1984) and Professor John Hull Grundy (1907–1984). Includes items of equipment in silver, commemorative medals and a set of framed prints, based on detailed drawings by anatomist John Hull Grundy published in Human Structure and Shape, 1982.