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A Painless Experience – A History of Anaesthesia at RPH

In a special exhibition for the Australian Heritage Festival, visit RPH Museum and discover the Museum's amazing anaesthetic and surgical collection including machines hand built by pioneers at the cutting edge of pain medicine. Picture yourself on the operating table in the 1900s.

The museum collection includes custom-built machines and equipment that provide insight into the development of anaesthesia in Australia. Many of the items were used by pioneer anaesthetists working at the hospital from the 1930s, endeavouring to improve anaesthetic techniques and relieve pain. Their efforts paved the way for surgery to be performed on all parts of the body, including the heart and brain.

We trace the story from 1849 when Colonial Surgeon John Ferguson first used chloroform to perform a limb amputation in the Colonial Hospital, through to the 20th Century when early pioneer anaesthetists were adapting, designing and making their own equipment.


Event dates

Event Details

RPH Museum 10 - 14 Murray St Perth M Block Level 2 Ground Floor, Perth, Metro

Enter from Murray Street opposite the Department of Fire and Emergency Heritage Centre. Follow the signs from the gate under the Moreton Bay Fig Tree.


9am - 2pm

Entry fees:
Attendance limit:
Onsite facilities:
Other things
you need to know:
Limited parking. Cat Bus stops on Murray St nearby. For highlights of the museum visit www.collectionswa.net.au/organisations/royal-perth-hospital-museum