Episode 6: Digging Deeper: The World Of 19th Century Anatomy
Guest podcast With Cat Irving: Human Remains Conservator
Surgeons’ Hall Museum, Edinburgh
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In this episode I’m joined by Cat Irving, Human Remains Conservator at Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh.
We step into the world of the 19th century anatomists and look at how the body snatcher would have delivered a cadaver to the back door of Surgeons’ Hall.
We talk about the state of the cadaver after it had been packed into barrels and boxes and there’s also a little bit of dissection talk in there along with some basic anatomy to help set the scene.
All gruesome stuff, but not too gruesome I hope.
01:41 – Introduction
03:20 – Famous Surgeons at Edinburgh
04:46 – Dissecting Season
06:30 – The Barber Surgeons
07:46 – Private Anatomy Schools
09:26 – Old Surgeons’ Hall & body snatching
11:03 – The condition of cadavers on arrival
15:15 – The part where Cat explains decomposition
20:40 – Storing Cadavers and using cadavers for dissection
24:45 – The wonderful story of Martin Van Butchell
27:07 – Dissection and The Paris Manner
34.44 – Finally we get to Burke & Hare
37:06 – Those bits of a cadavers anatomists wouldn’t be interested in
39:22 – What happened to cadavers after being anatomised
41:22 – Cat’s Blog These Wandering Bones
44:01 – Thanks & visiting Surgeons’ Hall Museum
How To Find My Guest Cat Irving:
Cat’s blog These Wandering Bones
The link to the image I mention where the cadaver is on the dissecting table holding an open book can be found on the website for the Wellcome Collection I mention in the episode that I thought the image was from Cambridge Anatomy School but in fact, the origin is unknown.
You can find up to date visiting information on the Surgeon’s Hall Website if you’d like to go and see the pocket book covered in William Burke’s skin for yourself and also his death/life mask.
The story of Martin Van Butchell can be read on the blog of All Things Georgian
Want a mid-week fix of all things body snatching? Then head on over to my blog at diggingup1800.com