History Collection
The GRPM's Medical Collections include thousands of artifacts from West Michigan and all over the world that have been used throughout history to help people lead healthier lives. Learning about these objects and their stories can help us appreciate just how far we have come in the treatments of injury and disease. From simple physicians' tools to the disturbing but effective amputation kits of a Civil War surgeon, and from life saving innovations like the Iron Lung, and modern miracles like artificial joints, the medical collections tell a story of innovation and progress. Grand Rapids medical professionals had an important part to play in this history including the development of a Whooping Cough vaccine by Drs. Pearl Kendrick and Grace Eldering in the 1930s and the creation of new types of artificial joint implants by Dr. Alfred Swanson in the 1960s. 

Artifacts in this collection include tools and instruments used in general human medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology, and veterinary medicine, as well as a large collection of historical pharmaceuticals.