The Institute for the History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine at the Mainz University Medical Center has a small collection of about 750 objects from the history of medicine, which was mainly created through donations from doctors' estates and acquisitions from clinics.
Apart from a few replicas (Roman medical stamp, first "microscope" by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 1632-1723), these are original instruments for the examination and treatment of the sick, mainly from the late 19th century. From the field of diagnostics, these include, for example, a reflex hammer, an ophthalmoscope, an ear mirror, an ear trumpet and a saccharometer for determining the sugar content in liquids. From the field of therapeutics the collection includes, among other things, a "Schimmelbusch mask" for anesthesia, inhalers, an apparatus for sterilizing instruments, boxes with surgical and gynecological instruments, obstetric forceps, a large case for military surgeons from 1939 and an incubator for premature babies.
The therapeutic practice of pre-modern times is represented with cupping heads and a bloodletting tool for blood extraction, as well as with burning irons, which were used locally not only for hemostasis, but also for many different indications. Old drug packaging give an impression of earlier medicines, "eye votives" of the belief in religious healings and a "Gall skull" of the phrenology of the brain researcher Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), who believed he could read talents and character traits from skull and face shapes and locate them in certain areas of the brain.
In addition to its selective use in teaching, the collection is important in terms of medical and cultural history.