Southwark (6), London Location map
 
  View of the spiral stairway, the Old Operating Theatre, Southwark, London, England   Southwark.

The spiral stairway, with 32 steps, takes you up to the Old Operating Theatre. This view is from the Operating Theatre floor looking down. The steps are quite small but nobody seemed to be having trouble with them.

 

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  View of the Old Operating Theatre, London, England   Southwark.

This is the Old Operating Theatre itself with the small operating table in the centre surrounded by galleries for watching students.

The theatre first came into use in 1822 and anaesthetics were not available until 1847 when ether or chloroform started to be used. Before anaesthetics surgeons depended on swift technique (an amputation could be performed in a minute or less), the mental preparation of the patient, and alcohol or opiates to dull the patient's senses.

 

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  Photograph of poisonous drug bottles, Old Operating Theatre, London, England   Southwark.

There are a lot of medical related artifacts in the museum including these rather attractive old apothocary's poison drug bottles. Syr. is apparently short for Syrup.

 

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  Photograph of the  Apothocary's Dispensing Counter, Old Operating Theatre, London, England   Southwark.

Part of the museum's exhibits include an apothocary's dispensing counter. When St Thomas's Church was rebuilt in 1703 it had an unusually large Garret in the roof space which was used by the St Thomas's Apothecary to store and cure herbs. His main offices and shop were a short distance away along St Thomas Street.

 

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