The new number for the audio guides below is 215-525-1671;
please make a note of it.
Years ago, The Museum of Jurassic Technology had a temporary exhibit, so there was a bit of nostalgia--like running into a long-lost friend--when I saw the bone crushing forceps for late-term abortions on my visit to the Mütter. Sorry for the poor quality of the surreptitious camera phone pictures.
Some Notes on a Visit to the Mütter Museum
[WARNING: Clicking on links in this post may result in gruesome images]
- Enema Syringe, Early 19th Century (pictured above)
- Chains used to restrain lunatics at Pennsylvania Hospital, 18th Century
- Portions of the Brain of Charles Guiteau, Assassin of President Garfield (pictured above) [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 22# to hear the audio guide]
- Seven classifications of conjoined twins (not including parasitic or fetus in fetu)
- Human horn, wax model [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 11# to hear the audio guide]
- Eight skulls with evidence of syphilitic caries or necrosic decay
- Cadaver with Adipocere (Soap Lady)
The Hyrtl Skull Collection (some examples)
- Girocamo Zini, age 20; Rope Walker. Died of Atlanto-Axial Dislocation (broken neck).
- Ercolle Pisane, age 42; Tailor. Died of Dysentery.
- No Name, no age; Cretin. Died of Thyroid Deficiency.
Some occupations listed:
Gypsy, Hussar, Sailor, Calvinist, Prostitute, Maid Servant, Brewer,
Embroiderer in Silk.
60, 13, 28, 48, 16, 62
Some other causes of death:
Suicide, Tuberculosis, Gunshot, Fever, Died of a Dagger Thrust
- Urinary Calculi representing 55 years of urinary surgery by Dr. G.N.J. Sommer of Trenton, New Jersey
- Baby with Open Brain Case and Closed Eyes (photo from the Kunstkammer of Peter the Great)
- Fetus diagnosed with Acephalus Acardius (without head or heart) in the Teratology Collection
- Chang and Eng's Conjoined Livers (photo above)
- The Chevalier Jackson Collection of Objects Swallowed and Removed (numbering 2,374)
- Skeleton of a 39-year-old male with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
- The Muniz Collection (consists of 19 trephined skulls from Peru)
- Wax models showing diseases and injuries of the eye (e.g. row 4, #18: penetration of the eyeball by a splinter of wood)
- Cross section of the head [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 15# to hear the audio guide]
- The Mutter American Giant [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 7# to hear the audio guide]
- Shrunken head Ortsantsa, created by the Jibaro Tribe (sic), c.1900 [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 9# to hear the audio guide]
- Conjoined Twins [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 19# to hear the audio guide]
- Ball of hip joint showing Avascular Necrosis [Call (408) 794-2228, then press 21# to hear the audio guide]
I thought this last specimen was interesting because it was taken quite recently from an HIV-positive man during hip replacement surgery. I imagine there's some gay guy wandering around Philadelphia who can claim to be the only living person able to visit himself at the Mütter Museum.
And lastly, there was the wax model of the tongue with Hairy Leukoplakia I saw at the MJT exhibition mentioned at the beginning of this post. At this point I realized that I was the only one left in the Museum as it had closed.
Several hours of contemplating (mostly) deformed flesh in formaldehyde worked up an appetite. Dinner was at the lovely Vintage on 13th:
- House salad with shallots, pine nuts and haricot verts
- Sweetbread satay with hazelnut sauces, sweet potato chips and parsley oil (Yum!)
- Cheese plate
Overall, it was better than sex.