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Post mortem table, Lambeth, England, 1921-1930

Bodies were laid upon post-mortem tables for examination after death. A post-mortem is also called an autopsy. It is a medical procedure where the body is opened up to discover the cause and manner of a death. They became common practice in the early 1800s. Post-mortems helped physicians learn more about the internal symptoms and signs of disease. This ceramic table was made by famous ceramics company Royal Doulton Limited. It was used at Rotherhithe Mortuary in London until 1944. The table has recessed grooves and a central drainage hole to drain body fluids released during the autopsy. The ceramic table was easily cleaned. It was more hygienic than wooden models used in the past.

Object number:

1979-787

 

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    Glossary: anatomy

    A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.

    Glossary: dissection

    The cutting apart and separation of body tissues for the purposes of critical examination. Dissection of corpses is often carried out for the study of anatomy.

    Glossary: post mortem table

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