Disease in Retreat

Disease in Retreat is a great antidote to our crowded and disease-ridden Victorian street! Here you can find out how scientific discoveries gradually led to a greater understanding of disease and a revolution in treatment and medical practice.
Nineteenth century ideas about the causes of disease included theories such as ‘miasmas’ or bad air; poisons generated by a sick person; or simply acts of god or punishment for immorality. But scientists gradually learnt about the existence of microscopic organisms or ‘germs’ and how disease can be transmitted from person to another.
In addition, the introduction of vaccines, antibiotics and other medicines vastly improved the health and wellbeing of the population and illnesses that were once Britain’s biggest killers are no longer a threat to most of us.

Exhibitions and events

Leeds 1842

Permanent exhibition

The sights, sounds and smells of a Victorian street in Leeds will transport you back in time to 1842 and we’ll introduce you to a range of characters who lived there at the time.   Queen...

Health Choices

Permanent exhibition

In Victorian times there was a cure for everything – at least, that’s what many of the quacks and chemists of the time claimed!    This exhibition explores the choices on offer...

Life Zone

Permanent exhibition

Younger visitors love exploring Life Zone!   Fun, educational and interactive, kids have a great time finding their way around the colourful, hands-on exhibits and learning more about how their...

Fantastic Plastic

Permanent exhibition

What scent should a medical face mask have? Which material would you choose to make a replacement hip? Come and learn from the experts!   Today, we take plastic for granted, but it plays a key...

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Activities from this museum

School visits

The Thackray Medical Museum opens its doors to 20,000 school students every...

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