Internet Explorer and Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save target as...'

'Up Close and Medical' event at the BDA Museum

Blog Author Rachel Bairsto

Blog Date 07/11/2018



The BDA Museum hosted a free event showcasing the collections of 13 medical museums from across London on 27 October, entitled 'Up close and medical', in collaboration with London Museums of Medicine and Health.

Over 150 visitors got to grips with exploring how to extract a tooth in Tudor times and Victorian times at the BDA Museum stand:

This was a fantastic opportunity for visitors to meet with curators and for them to share their wealth of expertise. 

Here is Alison from the Royal London Hospital Museum demonstrating an operating head lamp:



There were some unusual, quirky and mystery objects on display. These are shrunken heads were from the Wellcome Collection:


As part of the afternoon Spectrum Theatre group presented a toothbrush drill from 1910. 

Inspired by the school dentist of Edwardian Times, Richard Denison Pedley, the show demonstrated how children were taught the importance of good oral hygiene, using original slides and lectures developed by the School Dentists Society. 

It was clear that oral hygiene education can be fun! And there was even some audience participation:


The Hunterian Museum led its very popular suturing activity. Steady hands were required! 

The Royal Pharmaceutical Museum helped visitors to perfect their Victorian pill making skills and the Anaesthesia Heritage Museum were on hand with their resuscitation model.  

The Museum of the Order of St John helped everyone with the art of bandaging and bandage winding and showed the latest in defibrillators, visitors to the Red Cross Museum stand got to grips with the art of feeding injured soldiers with porcelain feeding cups and at the Royal College of Nursing stand there was great fun to be had dressing up in the surprisingly heavy nurses cape and with their mind boggling game:


If that wasn’t enough there was weighing a baby at Bethlem Museum of the Mind stand and guessing the mystery objects.  

At the Florence Nightingale Museum stand we imagined her carrying her lantern through the camps and agreed that she must have needed the foot warmer. Trying to listen to a heartbeat with an old stethoscope on


The Science Museum stand and the Old Operating Theatre explained how, why and when to trepan a skull. 

Feedback on the day was overwhelming positive with attendees saying its helped them decide a future career in medicine or dentistry, and many said they were impressed with the range of objects on display and activities on offer. 

What a wonderful collection of collections!


Our thanks to all the staff and volunteers that helped to make it such a success.

Rachel Bairsto, BDA Museum Head



BDA Museum

The BDA Museum has one of the largest collections of dental heritage in the UK. Spanning the 17th century to the present day, highlights of the collection include dental chairs, drills, oral hygiene products, and the infamous 'Waterloo' teeth. Pop in and see for yourself.