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Destination Spotlight: Bizarre Medical Museum

Located in Center City, Philadelphia, the Mutter Museum, America's Premier Medical History Museum, has been a part of the city’s history since the 1800s.

Thomas Dent Mutter, an eccentric 19th century doctor, donated his personal collection for education and research for future physicians. Most of Mutter’s collection contained odd specimens and medical equipment used at the time. Currently, the museum holds over 20,000 specimens, a wide selection of medical books, and a look into how far medicine has come.

Some of the rather fascinating and slightly gross holdings include; President Grover Cleveland’s malignant tumor, a piece of tissue removed from John Wilkes Booth, slides of Einstein’s brain, and a foreign body collection.

Wondering what a foreign body collection could possibly contain? This particular exhibit currently holds over 2,374 different objects that have either been inhaled or swallowed by humans. Some objects included in the collection are; coins, hardware, dentures, and even Philadelphia Art Museum passes!

(Disclaimer: If you are a little stomach weak, you may not want to scroll for the photographs!)

Some policies can be hard to swallow, but not in this case! Dr. Chevalier Jackson, whose collection of swallowed objects is on display in our museum, didn't just save lives by removing dangerous things from people's throats: He campaigned for policies to stop people ingesting them in the first place. His work resulted in US Congress passing the Federal Caustic Poison Act of 1927, which required labels be put on household products containing dangerous chemicals. To digest more about Dr. Jackson's fascinating work, visit our exhibit of his work, or check out muttr.org/--swallow or visit the link in the bio. #dncinphl???????? #scientist #histmed #swallow #policy #science #medicine #poison #dncinphilly #philadelphia #medical #poisoncontrol #uscongress #congress #federal

See this Instagram photo by @muttermuseum * 1,044 likes

 

Just when you thought this museum couldn’t get any weirder, they also have a collection of 139 human skulls. Each of the skulls are accompanied by a card that tells the individual’s age, place of origin, and cause of death.

Behind the scenes: Over a two-year period @davidorrart carefully photographed over 100 skulls in our collection including our 139 Hyrtl skulls, pictured here. David decided to capture the beauty and stories of these skulls in a new way. After taking individual close-ups, he created perfectly symmetrical memento mori style artworks which are currently on display in our art gallery. Why did he do this? And what does this do to our perception of facial symmetry? What is perfection? What, even, is a skull? Speak to the artist at a special Q&A in our art gallery, only on October 17. For more details and tickets follow the link in our bio. #perfectvessels #sciart #science #art #skulls #symmetry #philadelphia #visitphilly #Repost @davidorrart with @repostapp ・・・ Casting cart for 'Perfect Vessels' #davidorrart #muttermuseum

See this Instagram photo by @muttermuseum * 1,011 likes

There are a variety of other strange things lurking about the museum that will make for an interesting evening in the city of Brotherly Love.

Mutter Museam | The Best Medical Museum in the World | World Documentary Movies

Mutter Museam | The Best Medical Museum in the World | World Documentary Movies. The Mütter Museum is a medical museum located in the Center City area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It contains a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment.

 

Sarah Harley is a Hufflepuff living in the NYC area. When she is not talking to random animals or collecting stickers, she is a comedy writer working in television production.