Microscopical preparation of a tubercular lung, Dublin, Ireland, 1824

1824 in Republic of Ireland
James Macartney

Microscopical preparations of section of tubercular lung, glass, prepared by Dr. James Macartney, Dublin, 1824

This slide shows a portion of human lung which has been injected and dried to show the internal structure and the presence of tubercles – indicators of the presence of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis was one of the great killers of the 1800s, and was particularly prevalent in cities like Dublin, which expanded rapidly and became home to thousands of impoverished workers. The cramped unhygienic living conditions of much of Dublin provided an ideal breeding ground for tuberculosis.

On the back there is a handwritten description by James Macartney, who prepared the slide:

“A portion of Lung injected and dried: which contains Tubercles – These are seen as opake [sic] grey masses without blood vessels and to be composed of very minute depositions of the tubercular substance.”

James Macartney (1770-1843) was an Irish anatomist who also taught anatomy and built up his own collection of anatomical and pathological specimens.


Object Number:
1981-2074 Pt3
glass, human remains, paper and wood
microscopical preparation