History of Medicine in 30 Objects: the Lady with the Lamp

This term, we have been continuing with our History of Medicine in 30 Objects course with a group of Year Nine History students. Thirty objects representing five different time periods have been selected, and lessons use these objects in our collection as a way to recreate the time periods and explore the past. Full write-ups of all lessons and resources can be found on a blog for the project here.

In our first lesson back, we looked at the significance of Florence Nightingale's work in pioneering the training of nurses and also collecting careful data to show the causes of death at the Scutari Hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War. Florence invented a type of pie chart called the "coxcomb chart", where the size of the pie reflected the data represented. Florence is probably most well-known as the "lady with the lamp", and we have a replica of her lamp in our collection.

The original lamp used by Florence can be seen below, and currently resides in the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. Students were also able to ask questions of Florence Nightingale in a re-enacted interview, and explore her ideas about hospitals and nursing using letters she wrote, which can be found at the British Library.