Post mortem table

Made:
1921-1930 in Lambeth
maker:
Royal Doulton Limited

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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

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

Post mortem table ceramic, by Doulton, used until 1944 at the Rotherhithe Mortuary, c. 1925.

Bodies were laid upon post-mortem tables for examination after death. A post-mortem is also called an autopsy. It is a medical procedure where the body is opened up to discover the cause and manner of a death. They became common practice in the early 1800s. Post-mortems helped physicians learn more about the internal symptoms and signs of disease.

This ceramic table was made by famous ceramics company Royal Doulton Limited. It was used at Rotherhithe Mortuary in London until 1944. The table has recessed grooves and a central drainage hole to drain body fluids released during the autopsy. The ceramic table was easily cleaned. It was more hygienic than wooden models used in the past.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Details

Category:
Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
1979-787/1
Measurements:
pedastals: 665 mm x 500 mm x 270 mm,
table: 110 mm x 2030 mm x 775 mm,
type:
post mortem table
credit:
Southwark Borough Development Dept.

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