Philadelphia's Mutter Museum (previously) is one of my favorite museums in the world: built from the private collection of pathologist Dr Thomas Dent (who aggregated the collections of many other pathologists), it is a solemn and moving place to see the incredible breadth of human physiognomy and pathology.
You know the Mutter Museum for its deformed fetuses and misshapen skulls, but they have a new exhibit dedicated to chronicling the injuries suffered by Civil War soldiers and (because this is the Mutter Museum, after all) the often gruesome medicine used to fix them. — Read the rest
The Mutter Museum — a freaky fantastic collection of medical curiosities — is trying to restore and preserve a collection of 139 skulls that were once used to debunk the pseudoscience of phrenology. You can help by adopting a skull for $200. — Read the rest
Last week, I toured Philadelphia's Mütter Museum — the Philadelphia College of Surgeons' astounding collection of pathological oddities — and was treated to a sneak peak at the museum's latest acquisition: 46 microscope slides from Albert Einstein's brain. They were donated by Dr. — Read the rest
The Brothers Quay, creators of phantasmagorical stop-motion animation, are shooting a documentary film about the College of Physicians of Philadelphia's Mutter Museum, the incredible wunderkammer of antique wax anatomical models, pathological specimens, and antique medical instruments. (If you can't make it to the museum in person, the gorgeous Mutter Museum coffee table book and Mutter Museum 2011 Calendar are the next best things.) — Read the rest
Master archivist Rick Prelinger sez,
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Always my first stop in Philadelphia, the Mutter Museum is the Victorian-era medical museum holding thousands of unforgettable (and often unsettling) objects, including anatomical and pathological specimens, models and instruments. While the Mutter demonstrates what 19th-century physicians did NOT know about disease, it also challenges our supposed sophistication about science and medicine and leads us to think about the infinite distance that separates us from the insides of our bodies.
The Mütter is an historical pathology museum that began with the private collection of the 19th Century pathologist Dr. — Read the rest
Welcome Ed Piskor back to Boing Boing (previously), where he'll be offering an annotated page-by-page look at the first part of X-Men: Grand Design, his epic retelling of how Marvel comics' pantheon of heroes came to be. Here's page 4; read the rest first — Eds. — Read the rest
Standing in the Mütter Museum of medical oddities, contemplating a neat row of jars, each containing a malformed fetus with spina bifida, Riva Lehrer realized just how easily she, too, could have ended up a specimen in a bottle, an object of curiosity, pathos, and, yes, revulsion. — Read the rest
Specializing in performing reconstructive surgery on the severely deformed in a time before anesthesia, Thomas Dent Mütter was one of the first American pioneers of plastic surgery. In the new book, Dr Mütter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine, author Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz explores the life and times of this idiosyncratic doctor and American original.
This 1863 image from the Wellcome Trust illustrates a distinctly vampiric set of "Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth" — makes you wonder if the visual image of the vampire was inspired by the widespread horrors of untreated syphilis (for an exceptionally visceral window into a society wracked by untreated syphilis, have a look at the Mutter Museum's display of syphilitic skulls). — Read the rest
In The Atlantic, science writer extraordinaire Carl Zimmer wrote a fascinating long article about fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a rare medical disorder in which the sufferer grows a second skeleton. (Above, the skeleton of FOP-sufferer Harry Raymond Eastlack, on display at the Mütter Museum.) — Read the rest
At Popperfont, the great David Ng discusses the biological and/or evolutionary steps necessary to produce a theoretical real-life unicorn. I find it delightfully ironic that his first possible route involves something that, if I were to show you pictures of it*, you would probably request a unicorn chaser. — Read the rest
From How to Be a Retronaut, a fine gallery of scanned syphilis/gonorreah posters from the last days of each disease's reign of terror, before widespread use of antibiotics. If you're ever in Philadelphia and want to get a sense of how scary syphilis must have been in its day, head on over to the Mutter Museum, an exhibit of pathological curiosities, and have a gander at the cases of syphilitic skulls. — Read the rest
This wax sculpture of a sleeping woman was made with several wicks, turning her into a giant candle (not to be mistaken for the soap woman of the Mutter Museum). It was sculptded for the Arnhem Mode Biennale 2011 by A.F. — Read the rest
In the 19th and 20th centuries, laryngologist Chevalier Jackson pioneered new methods to remove weird things that people swallowed, from safety pins, buttons, cigarette butts, and even a toy dog (seen here in the esophagus of the 3-year-old who gulped it down). — Read the rest
On April 26, 1865, Sergeant Boston Corbett shot and killed John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin who was hiding out in the barn of a tobacco barn in Caroline County, Virginia. Or did he? Some historians have suggested that the man in the barn wasn't Booth, and that he lived for several more decades under assumed names before committing suicide. — Read the rest
Hi everyone! Pleased to be back on Boing Boing again. Last time I was here with Dylan Thuras we announced the launch of the Atlas Obscura, a user-generated compendium of the world's "wondrous, curious, and esoteric" places.
Noah from the wonderful Skull-a-Day site got interviewed by Robert Hicks, PhD, Director of the Mütter Museum (Philadelphia's astounding pathology musuem). The Mutter is one of the most astounding, humbling, beautiful places I've ever been.