Stories Organisations Projects About Login

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons East Melbourne, Victoria

Not-for-profit collegiate organisation for training and accreditation of surgeons, and maintenance of surgical standards throughout Australia and New Zealand

Contact Information

location
250-290 Spring Street 250-290 Spring Street EAST MELBOURNE 3002 3002 (map)
phone
+61 9276 7447

Contact

Opening Hours

10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday

Entry Fee

Gold coin donation

Location

250-290 Spring Street East Melbourne Victoria

View on Google Maps

Describing the history of surgery and of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and its Fellows from the appearance of Europeans in the Asia-Pacific region to the present day, the Collection has four major components: surgical instruments and apparatus, works of art, rare and historic books, and memorabilia

There are no comments yet.

Leave a comment

13 items

close
Show All Items Items with Images (13) Items with Audio Items with Video Items with Documents
View As Grid List

13 items

Japanese Hakata doll - Diplomatic gift

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

Hakata Doll dressed in elaborate kimono, in glass display case. Wooden plaque in cabinet with Japanese characters/script - presumably describes the doll. Doll has porcelain face, hands and feet, and a cloth body. This doll depicts a young unmarried woman dancing and holding an elaborate drum (tsuzumi).

Historical information

Made by Tomi Kono for Kyugetsu,Toyko. Kyugetsu is a famous doll store in the Asakusabashi district of Tokyo. This was founded in the Edo period and has been making dolls for 150 years.

Significance

This elaborately costumed ceramic doll has its origins in simple clay figurines first produced in the Hakata district of the Japanese city of Fukuoka in the 17th century. They made their appearance in the West at the Exposition Universelie in Paris in 1900 by which time they had been transformed from toys into an artform. Most dolls are inspired by figures from the theatre: Noh, Kabuki and Ukiyo-e. These figures are sometimes connected with Geisha dolls although this is not necessarily a correct description. The robes and hairstyle are traditional but not confined to geisha.

Inscriptions & Markings

On plaque in cabinet: "Japanese College of Surgeons. Founded in 1974"

Operating stool

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

The design of the stool is simple and robust. A substantial padded saddle forms the seat, which is adjustable for height. The saddle is upholstered in red leather. The frame is made from tubular steel, painted cream. The whole device runs on three swivelling casters, two at the front and one at the rear, which enable it to be taken in any direction.

Historical information

A special stool made to enable a disabled surgeon to operate while sitting was donated to the College by Mr John Farlow FRACS in September 2003. The stool was made for Gilbert Phillips FRACS (1904-52), the legendary Sydney neurosurgeon and wine connoisseur. Phillips was a gifted young graduate, a protégé of (Sir) Harold Dew (PRACS 1953-55). He went to England, where he became surgical assistant to (Sir) Hugh Cairns, amongst others. He was a consultant to the RAAF during WWII, and at the end of the War returned to England at Cairns’ request. Back in Sydney, he returned to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he spent most of his professional career. In 1951, after a long battle with skin cancer, he had his right leg amputated below the knee. Only a few weeks later he was back working at the operating table, and it was at this time the stool was constructed for him. By now however, he was suffering from secondary melanoma, and he died in September 1952.

Significance

This object is an interesting example of pioneering apparatus from the days before stools became a familiar piece of theatre equipment.

Schimmelbusch anaesthetic mask

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

Schimmelbusch anasthetic mask, made of Stainless steel. This mask was used with chloroform cloth. Missing spring.

Significance

This model differs from the others in that the mask's handle is attached to the mask, as opposed to the spring. The chloroform cloth was possibly held in place by the clamp, instead of a spring.

Inscriptions & Markings

Martin and Co.

Schimmelbusch anaesthetic mask

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

Anaesthetic mask made of stainless steel. Used in conjunction with a chloroform cloth. All screws intact. Spring handle is placed at the rounded end of the mask.

Significance

Schimmelbusch model of anesthetic masks, used during the 20th century in Australia. Good example of the surgical instruments used by anesthetists.

Milton Shield

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

The Shield is oval in shape, and is divided into several fields, each of which shows a different scene. The entire surface is covered in floral and animal decoration, and patterns. A cable moulding runs around the outer edge. The College’s Shield is set in a heavy timber frame bordered with red velvet and glazed.The central area is circular, depicting the archangel Raphael telling the story of the war in Heaven to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Immediately below this is the figure of the archangel Michael trampling on the defeated Satan. At the bottom of the shield are two figures representing Sin and Death. On either side of the central circle is a kidney-shaped field, the one on the left showing the army of the rebel angels assaulting Heaven, and on the right the fall of the rebel angels. At the top of the Shield are figures of cherubim and seraphim. The name of the Shield derives from the scenes on it, illustrating episodes from Paradise Lost by John Milton (1608-1674).

Historical information

There are three known examples of this Shield in Australia. They are electrotype reproductions made by Elkington & Co. of an original created by Léonard Morel-Ladeuil between 1864 and 1866, and exhibited in Paris at the Exposition Universelle of 1867. The original is made of silver and damascened iron, measures 880mm by 630mm, and is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Significance

There are three known examples of this Shield in Australia. They are electrotype reproductions made by Elkington & Co. of an original created by Léonard Morel-Ladeuil between 1864 and 1866, and exhibited in Paris at the Exposition Universelle of 1867. The original is made of silver and damascened iron, measures 880mm by 630mm, and is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Inscriptions & Markings

Presented by Conrad Blackmore

Doyen Centering Bit

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

small tapered attachment for Doyen Brace

Historical information

This attachment was used in Adelaide by Dr R. Humphrey Marten (1860-1933). He was an English general practitioner who graduated from University College Hospital in 1883. He came to Australia as custodian of a mentally deranged patient. Martins fee allowed him to later return to England and obtain a degree from Cambridge. In 1888 he returned to Adelaide and became a very successful physician and surgeon, said to be the first surgeon in South Australian to have removed a brain tumor in 1901. The brace was later used by Sir Leonard Lindon (1896- 1978) one of the eight founders of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, who had married Marten's daughter.

Significance

Having been used by two important figures in surgery during the 20th century this item is an excellent representation of the brace described by Eugene Doyen (1859-1916) of Paris in 1896. It is used in conjunction with a perforator, spherical burrs and an electric saw.

LIster's Carbolic Spray

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

The spray consists of a steam boiler heated by a wick, a nozzle for the steam to escape, and a glass jar for the carbolic solution. Fuel for the wick is carried in a tank at the base. Valves regulate the pressure of the steam, and the nozzle is adjustable. The boiler is made of cast iron, the fittings are brass, and the handles are of wood. Empty, the apparatus weighs 8 lbs (3.2 kg).

Historical information

The College’s spray was one of the first pieces of surgical memorabilia to come into the possession of the College. It had been used in the Listerian wards of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and was presented , along with some other artefacts, by James Hogarth Pringle in 1930. Joseph Lister (1827-1912) is known as a father of modern surgery. His methods of preventing infection were controversial in their time, but are today recognized as a major advance in the practice of surgery. Lister’s life and achievements are too well known to be recounted here. The definitive biography was written by his nephew, Sir Rickman Godlee (PRCSE 1911-13), and published in 1917. Douglas Guthrie gives an glimpse of Lister at work: “...He never wore a white gown and frequently did not even remove his coat, but simply rolled back his sleeves and turned up his coat collar to protect his starched collar from the cloud of carbolic spray in which he operated...” From advances in bacteriology, and discoveries by Robert Koch and others, it became increasingly evident that airborne bacteria were not a significant contributor to sepsis in surgical wounds. They also demonstrated that the body had its own defences against invading organisms, which were seriously compromised by the effects of the carbolic spray. Gradually the use of the spray was curtailed, Lister himself finally abandoning it in 1887.

Significance

Lister performed the first antiseptic operation, the dressing and splintage of a compound fracture of the lower leg, in 1865. At this time he used carbolic solution by application, and dressings soaked in the solution. The spray was developed later, after many different methods, including carbolic and linseed oil putty, had been tried in order to reduce the harmful side-effects of undiluted carbolic acid. The steam spray was developed in 1869, and announced to the medical world in 1871. Lister’s purpose in adopting the spray was to kill airborne bacteria in the vicinity of the operation before they could reach the patient. It came to be used all over the world for many years. However, it had serious disadvantages, which even Lister acknowledged. The principal problem was the inhalation of carbolic vapour by everyone in the vicinity, including the patient and the operator. In addition, if the patient had been anæsthetized using chloroform, the gas lights decomposed the vapour into chlorine gas, making any procedure an ordeal of endurance.

Hygieia

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

A beautiful wooden statue representing Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health.The figure is highly polished, which brings out the intricate grain of the timber. In it, the sculptor has endeavoured to combine the qualities of a classical pose with a contemporary yet timeless surreal sensuality. It will stand on a stone pedestal about 90cm high, and be placed in a prominent location in the Melbourne headquarters. The College’s statue is semi-abstract in style, carved from a single piece of jarrah. The piece of timber from which it is fashioned was salvaged from the remains of a century-old shearing shed on Rifle Downs, at Darkan in the south-west of Western Australia.

Historical information

Hygieia (Ύγεια, lit., “healing”) probably began as an abstraction, which later became personified. She does not appear to be a deity of extremely ancient origin, and there has been much scholarly debate as to exactly where and when worship of her first developed. Her cult most likely arose in the territory of Sikyon, where she was worshipped along with Asklepios, the legendary god of medicine. In later times Hygieia came to be regarded as the daughter of Asklepios, although her cult was not introduced to Epidauros, his principal sanctuary, until at least the 4th century BC. The earliest large-scale devotion to her is found in the aftermath of the Plague of Athens (420BC). The cult of Hygieia was taken to Rome, along with that of Asklepios (Æsculapius), in 293BC, to avert a pestilence. Here she gradually became integrated with the old Italian god Salus. Towards the end of the pagan era both Hygieia and Asklepios lost their specific associations with medicine, and became general protective deities.

Doyen Brace

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

Small Brace measuring 25.5 cm, from the handle to the socket. It is nickel plated.

Historical information

This brace ws used in Adelaide by Dr R. Humphrey Marten (1860-1933). he was an English general practitioner who graduated from University College Hospital in 1883. He came to Australia as custodian of a mentally deranged patient. Martins fee allowed him to return to England and obtain a degree from Cambridge. in 1888 he returned to Adelaide and became a very successful physician and surgeon, said to be the first surgeon in South Australian to remove a brain tumor in 1901. The brace was later used by Sir Leonard Lindon (1896- 1978) one of the eight founders of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, who had married Marten's daughter.

Significance

Having been used by two important figures in surgery during the 20th century this item is an excellent representation of the brace described by Eugene Doyen (1859-1916) of Paris in 1896. It is used in conjunction with a perforator, spherical burrs and a n electric saw.

Plaster cast, Private Pritchard

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

An original plaster cast taken of a patient Private Pritchard, who required reconstructive surgery c1917-1921. The cast would have been used as an aid to surgery and used for future reference.

Historical information

The Sidcup Collection came to RACS from the University of Melbourne, Pathology Department and is regarded as one of the most valuable held by the College. It includes the patient records created by the Australian Surgical Unit at the hospital and covers the period 1916 - 1919. There are 50 watercolour illustrations of patients sketched by Sgt. Daryl Lindsay, X-ray prints, photographs, diagrams and some case histories. Private Pritchard was treated by the Australian Surgical Unit during WW1.

Inscriptions & Markings

On base,incised into plaster "PRITCHARD" .

Dormia Stone Extractor

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

Dormia Stone Extractor with Set of instructions in French and English. This item is a tiny apparatus consisting of four wires that can be advanced through an endoscope into a body cavity or tube, manipulated to trap a calculus or other object, and withdrawn.

Amputation set of surgical instruments

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

Schimmelbusch anaesthetic mask

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, East Melbourne

This anaesthetic mask has a screw missing from the right hand side. Made of stainless steel with light tarnish.