Operating table, Europe, 1881-1910

Made:
1881-1910 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Operating table, used at Salpetriere Hospital, c.1900

Operating tables may have had multiple uses. It is possible this example doubled as an obstetrical table because it has nickel-plated stirrups. These may have held the mother’s feet during childbirth. The padded table folds upward to create a backrest and the bottom shelf slides out, possibly to hold instruments.

The table was used at Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, a teaching hospital built by Louis XIV the 'Sun King' in 1656 on the site of a former gunpowder factory. Before this, the site housed prostitutes, the poor, and people with disabilities and mental illnesses. By the late 1700s, the Salpêtrière had become the world's largest hospital.

Details

Category:
Surgery
Object Number:
A79828
Materials:
fittings, iron, frame, wood, upholstery, cloth and upholstery, leather
type:
operating table
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • surgical equipment
credit:
La Maison Grise