Tools for healing and harming: A history of medicine

Wendy Moore catches a rare glimpse of a medical collection that includes tonsil guillotines and implements for trepanning.

Blythe HouseIn the bright spring sunshine a brooding warehouse blocks out the sky in a deserted backstreet of west London. Behind its high walls and barbed wire security is intense. Remote-controlled gates give way to alarmed doors which open onto labyrinthine corridors revealing rows of locked doors.

But when the heavy doors swing open they reveal room after room packed floor to ceiling with some of the strangest and most remarkable objects ever seen. Seldom open to public view, the items stashed in drawers, piled on shelves and shut in glass cabinets are truly the source of nightmares and the stuff of dreams.

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