A Medical Museum
It was an overcast Saturday and we all needed a break from the sun having been out by the water the last 3 days. So we decided to take a little trip to one of our 101 Places. The boys and their friend Nathan chose the Indiana Medical History Museum.
Definitely one of the more macabre visits on the list, and Brennan was TOTALLY in his element! He absolutely loved it and amazed me with his knowledge of chemistry, anatomy, and 19th century medical practices thanks to this book:
(This "You Wouldn't Want to Be" series is really great by the way).
The IMHM is definitely worth a visit. I was surprised by how many people were there and how each group that showed up got their own tour guide! Our guide was great. He said that Brennan reminded him so much of himself at 8.
The museum is in the old pathology building (1896) on the grounds of the former Hospital for the Insane. This is one of the only buildings that remain. The doctors who built the hospital in the mid-to-late 1800s were pioneers in the moral care concept. They felt that it was inhumane to treat those with mental disabilities and diseases as prisoners.
Brennan asked dozens of questions. He loved seeing all the original equipment and medicines. The older boys - not so much.
In one of the labs - original equipment everywhere you look.
This is the autopsy room - Brennan had TONS of questions for our guide. Thomas was ready to get the heck out.
Thomas got involved here because he knew what an iron lung was (how, I don't know!)
The histology laboratories (studies of cells) intrigued all the boys. Here we're looking at different cuts of cells. Again, Brennan could teach a course on this stuff.
Looking through an 1800s microscope at an 1800s cell slide.
This was also a medical school. Here is where the students took all of their classes and watched autopsies.
You may recognize the Pearl Jam CD "Vitalogy". It's next to the medical text book its cover art was taken from.
Don't look too closely here. These are two walls full of cross-sections of human brains. You'll see Brennan smiling - he loved this and could have spent hours here analyzing the differences. Thomas wouldn't even look and again, was ready to get the heck out.
The hospital had a thriving herb garden to make remedies and medicines. This was Thomas's favorite part. Until he realized his back in this picture is next to the famous "dead house" that our tour guide mentioned while on our tour. Then he was ready to get back in the car.
But Brennan asked for his picture next to the Dead House. This is where bodies came before going to the autopsy room next door.
I promised Thomas the next 101 Place would involve something a lot less creepy!
From the Book:
#87 - A Medical Museum
You may not always like the taste of the medicine you're given, but consider the alternative: if you'd been born 100 years ago, you might have been given leeches. Not to eat, of course, just to suck your blood to remove the impurities from it. Through the years, medical researchers have made a lot of discoveries that make it easier for us to stay healthy, but they had to try a lot of wacky ideas before getting it just right. Visit a medical museum to learn about what used to happen when someone got sick. You'll see jars full of old herbal medicines, old medical instruments, and maybe even some bottles with dead or live leeches. In some of the creepier exhibits, you'll see human skulls and skeletons, or actual human organs preserved in fluid. You'll never complain about having to go to your doctor's office again.