The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Museum blog offers a cutting-edge look at the history of surgery


How did people deal with bladder stones in the past?

Were forceps always used by surgeons?

What would World War II surgeons have done to treat soldiers with facial injuries?

If you’re intrigued by the medical specialty, the International Museum of Surgical Science’s blog will be a treat. The blog delves into a mammoth collection of past methods that often shed light on modern procedures.

North America’s only museum solely devoted to surgery is in a historic mansion in Chicago. It has more than 10,000 square feet of public galleries and a large collection of surgical artifacts, art and rare texts detailing centuries of surgical progress.

The blog shows off that collection in small, satisfying doses. Recent entries have covered everything from sutures to poisons to what it was like to be a physician in Queen Elizabeth I’s royal Tudor court. Curators and archivists share their favorite finds — and describe the work of the museum’s artists in residence.

Each entry includes extensive images from the collection, along with helpful source notes.

If you’re turned off by intense descriptions of medical procedures, the blog probably isn’t for you. But if you’re fascinated by such things as early 20th-century testicular transplants or anatomical dissection, this blog is what the doctor ordered.

Erin Blakemore

Woman who donated her body becomes world’s most detailed virtual cadaver

Website opens a virtual scientific lab to visitors