Mütter Museum, Philadelphia

Happy Halloween, y’all!   I thought it would be a perfect time to write about one of the museums we visited while in Philly–the Mütter Museum. Interesting and creepy all rolled into one, this is one of the most intriguing and bothersome museums I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.  The Mütter Museum is dedicated to medical oddities and the study of the human body.

Hyrtle Skulls Mutter Museum
The Hyrtl Skulls Collection

You will find the macabre, the disturbing, and the fascinating within the walls of the museum.  On display you’ll find everything from skulls, to fetuses, to oversized intestines, to antiquated medical instruments.  Sadly, the museum does not allow photography, but while I was there I was given permission to use photos from the museum’s website.  You can visit their page here.

Medical instruments Mutter Museum
Medical Instruments on Display

While this museum is not for the faint hearted, if you’re up for it, it’s a really interesting place to walk around.  While we were there we got to see the death mask of Abraham Lincoln, a mummy, and Albert Einstein’s brain.  The visual assault of so many displays makes you realize both how strong and how fragile the human body is.  It is truly fascinating and educational.

Mutter Museum
The second floor of the museum

The museum began as a donation from surgeon Thomas Dent Mütter in 1858.  The collection started out with 1,700 objects and has since grown to over 25,000 objects.  The museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia–a historical college that was started in 1787.

The Famous Soap Woman
The Famous Soap Woman

It’s so interesting to think that so much of what we know about modern medicine and human health started with a small collection of items that was avidly studied by a single man.

Brain Specimen Mutter Museum
Brain Specimen

While the museum did feed my inner hypochondriac, I’m glad we went.  If you’re ever in Philadelphia and want to get grossed out and educated, stop in and check this place out.

Mutter Museum Skeletons
Comparison of a Giant, Average-Sized Person, and a Dwarf
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