Sheffield has one of the largest historical collections of anaesthetic apparatus and equipment in the UK.

A selection of items from the museum is presented, offering a unique insight into the evolution of the specialty of anaesthesia over the past century.

There are two main anaesthetic museums, one in the anaesthetic department at the Northern General Hospital, and the other in the anaesthetic department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Northern General Hospital - The Jake Johnston Teaching Collection

Dr. James "Jake" Johnston was a consultant anaesthetist (mainly cardiothoracic) from 1950 to the 1980s. He was a pioneer cardiothoracic anaesthetist and he collected several important items during his career that he felt worthy of preservation, although there was no suitable site at the time in which to display them. He also introduced some items of his own. Upon his retirement he gave these items to Dr. John "Jake" Alderson, consultant anaesthetist 1978 to 2006, for safekeeping. Jake Alderson stored and expanded this collection, naming it the Jake Johnston Teaching Collection. In 1992 the collection was moved to a new anaesthetic department at the Northern General Hospital on E floor, where better display was possible. The emphasis was on teaching, with several items being dismantled or sectioned to aid understanding. Several other anaesthetists in the Northern General were involved with the development of equipment and they too have donated interesting items. Particular mention must be made of Dr. A. Murray Wilson, who was responsible in particular for the design of the excellent Sheffield ventilator amongst many other items. Other developers include Dr. Bob King, whilst other contributors include Dr. Margaret Miller and Dr. Neil Appleyard. Several items have also been acquired from other hospital departments and indeed other hospitals, where the appreciation of the value of such equipment for teaching is not fully recognized. Several items have been selected for display on the web pages. There are several of particular relevance to Sheffield, either being designed here by Sheffield anaesthetists, or manufactured here, or both.

Royal Hallamshire Hospital

The first professor of anaesthesia in Sheffield, Andrew Thornton, acquired the early part of this collection. Other members of the department, in particular Drs. Adrian Padfield, Murray Wilson, Dai Robertson and "Cecil" Levy aided him. During reorganizations of the Royal Hallamshire site some items were lost, but Adrian Padfield managed to save much, which is now stored and displayed within the NHS department on C floor.

Photography was kindly provided by Robert Salthouse and Glenys Taylor of the medical photography department,
web design by Dr. Ian Paterson. 

Museum curators (2021): Dr. Ian Paterson, Dr. Jake Drinkwater, Mr. Brian Corrin. 

Anaesthetic Machines | Dental Anaesthesia | Parts | Ventilators | Vaporisers & Inhalational Therapy
Measurement & Monitoring | Laryngoscopes | Needles & Syringes | Sprays | Pharmacy
| Obstetric | Miscellaneous
Dr. A. M. Wilson's Inventions
| Smith-Clarke

Museum Home | Sheffield Department of Anaesthesia
Museums of the Royal College of Surgeons of England