Private medical museum in York County: ‘I can almost feel the souls of all the physicians that used all this stuff’
The Arbittier Museum of Medical History in York Township, York County is a private medical museum holding more than 1,500 medical and surgical relics. The building includes a six-seat home theater with a 12-foot screen. (See additional photos below.) Also of interest: Doctor wrote about oxygen use to aid ‘average country practitioners’ and Spanish flu epidemic in York: ‘People died one right after the other’ and Civil War hospital: A master’s thesis waiting to be written and West Side Sanitarium, later West Side Osteopathic and later Memorial Hospital born in The Avenues in York.
The current issue of “Spaces” magazine profiles a private medical museum, unknown to many people.
“This is just a quiet place to take in all the medical history,” museum owner and curator Dr. Douglas Arbittier said, “I feel, when I’m in here and it’s totally quiet, I can almost feel the souls of all the physicians that used all this stuff for hundreds of years. This is their legacy for medicine.” …
Ornate and plain leech jars line the walls of the Arbittier Museum of Medical History.
The Arbittier Museum of Medical History is not open to the public, but the physician’s collection and other details about the museum can be viewed at medicalantiques.com.
The curator’s favorite items?
Two signed letters.
Spaces, a publication of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, reports one is from Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence. The other is a letter from John Hunter, the father of scientific surgery, kept in a glass case in the lower level of the museum.
Dr. Arbittier considers this stained-glass dome, a centerpiece of the museum.
This wax mold was made at a German medical school in the 1880’s. It was taken from an actual surgery. (This photograph did not make the magazine.)
Other posts feature “Spaces” homes and buildings:
– The real big York County house that little false teeth built.
– Women’s Club of York: ‘No one knew it really looked like this’
– York artist Horace Bonham’s house: ‘There are paintings of his children throughout the building’