Friday, July 31, 2020

Five on Friday: Artifact Excitement

You may or may not know that I am the Curator for a small local Museum. We have, of course, been closed since March and I really miss my visitors. Many of them were older folks who'd stop by and have a cup of tea or coffee and share their stories. I adore them.

While these past few months may have been lonely, they have also been extremely productive. I won't get into all the minutiae of Museum organizing and artifact accessioning that we've gotten done because as exciting as it is to us, I'm sure it's pretty boring to other people.  Scratch that, I know it is. (But trust me, it feels so good to be getting it all done!)

An opportunity for the Museum came up recently and I had a feeling it would be exciting to other people, too. So I shared a teaser pic on Instagram and on my personal Facebook page. It turns out I'm not the only one fascinated by medical artifacts from the former State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis! I was already giddy at the thought of what an excellent exhibit this will make when we can open again (not to mention timely with the epidemic theme!) but the enthusiasm from the public has absolutely thrilled me.

Since the process of getting the artifacts may take a little while and I don't know when I'll be able to reopen the Museum, I thought I'd share a sneak peek of some of the items for this week's post. (Note: I don't want to completely ruin the surprises though, so some are a little tamer than the others.)

1. Fluoroscope screen and light. These items had been set up as a small Museum of sorts already, so many of them were labeled. Which is lucky for me because I would have assumed these were for x-rays. They're actually for fluoroscopy, which is like an x-ray movie. A continues x-ray beam is passed through the body and projects the image on a screen. Both the light and screen? Mine now. (Or more accurately, our Museum's soon. But close enough!)

2. You know you're a former theater kid when you see this and think, "Man, we could have used that for Annie."

3. Not everything is creepy in its appeal. My husband and I both think the top sign would be fun to have. Maybe it's just us? That's why we're married I guess.

4.  Pneumotherapy appartus used to temporarily collapse the lung. I'll pass on the procedure, thanks, but I'll gladly take the apparatus.

5. Another non-creepy entry, but interesting nonetheless. At my first glance of this painting I thought, "Meh, large oil painting of some guy. I could live without it." But I did snap a picture of the nameplate and the artist's signature to look them up later.

It turns out the subject of the painting, Dr. Samuel Budd English, was a pioneer in Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment while the artist, Lew E. Davis, is well-known in certain art circles.

This served as a little lesson to me to not be hasty in forming my opinions and to stay curious. Magical things can happen.

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