Surgeon's signboard, 'Midwifery', J. Short, wooden, suspended from beam, English, 18th century
J Short, a surgeon, used this sign to advertise his skills as a midwife. The sign would have hung outside his practice. It is symbolic of the changing nature of childbirth in this period. Once the preserve of local, female midwives, it increasingly became the territory of trained, male surgeons who were armed with an array of specialised obstetrical instruments.