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Model of MMR Unit

This model of an MMR Unit created by the Science Museum to illustrate the interior of a mobile van and to show how the x-ray was taken. It displays women operators in white uniforms and a small queue of men wearing shirts to emphasise that there was no need to undress for the x-ray to be taken. This tells us interesting things about the gendered understanding of tuberculosis screening when this object was created. The date at which this was created is unknown. The object number is 1984-252, which we initially thought may suggest it was made in 1984, but, as our member below suggests, this may more likely mean the Museum acquisitioned the item in this year. Indeed, it was in the 1940s and 1950s that women as well as men were encouraged to avail of the service and have an x-ray taken.

Source:
Science Museum Brought to Life: Exploring the History of Medicine: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/objects/display?id=6143

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5 thoughts on “Model of MMR Unit

  1. When I was a 4 year old child I was diagnosed as having a “shadow on my lung” which indicated I had tuberculosis. I had a very bad cough for some time before this happened.
    I had to leave my family and stay in a sanitorium hospital for about 9 months . I was treated with a course of Streptomycin and other medication which required many many injections. Every so often I was sedated and treated in an operating theatre which I remember as making me feel a bit strange.
    Much of my early education took place in Poole Hospital, near Middlesbrough.
    We also used to do crafts such as making jewellry.
    Seemed a long time to a 4 year old, 9 months. I do remember the nurses were so kind to me. Some of the big lads used to lock me and possibly other kids in the big wicker laundry baskets which was pretty scary but I remember the nurses coming to the rescue 🙂
    I eventually got well and went home but I had to leave all my toys at the hospital which was a bit sad.
    I have not had any further problems with TB since my stay in the hospital in 1959. Thank you NHS. Thank you to the kind nurses 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It’s very interesting to hear about the continuing place of the sanatoria in TB treatment well after the inception of the ‘antibiotic age’. We have been given a wonderful scrapbook of sanatorium life from just a bit earlier, which also shows the close bonds formed between patients and staff in these institutions. Check back in the new year for some digital images, and please tell us more about your time there if you can. I should say that I was also a child TB patient, but by the time I was diagnosed in the 1970s, the sanatorium had disappeared completely — though I do remember those injections VERY clearly indeed: ouch!

  2. I think the object number of 1984 refers to the year the item was obtained by the science museum; I have viewed several items on the science museums catalogue related to medicine in the second world war which also have a 1984 prefix.

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