Having blogged about our tamiflu discussions (we medical curators have exciting lives), I thought might be a good idea to talk about the kind of things we have acquired in the last year or so.
One of my favourites is our new smoking collection. Smoking, and tobacco, have a long and not always negative association with medicine. So we already have a perhaps surprising number of objects related to tobacco, from smoking paraphernalia to the rather fabulous Resuscitator for reviving “persons apparently dead” (aka tobacco enema). This scary contraption used tobacco’s properties as a stimulant to try and revive unconcious individuals – through the mouth or rectum.
When the smoking ban came into effect in England on July 1, 2007, our public health curator had already identified a whole set of objects which might not exist in the future. We collected ‘no smoking’ signs, branded ashtrays, and complimentary matches given out by restaurants; all rescued from the bars and clubs of London (it’s a tough job…)