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2000/36/1 Medical chest, containing medications/ dressings/ medical instruments and instruction sheets, metal / mixed materials, various manufacturers, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, 1987. Click to enlarge.

Medical chest and contents

Made
This medical chest is an Australian innovation developed for use in outback Australia for consultations by radio with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Deep in the outback, isolation, distance and poor communications can make medical emergencies especially dangerous. The Reverend John Flynn, a roving outback missionary of the Presbyterian church's Australian Inland Mission realised that aeroplanes and radio could save lives in the outback. As a result of his vision and stubbornness, the Aerial …

Summary

Object No.

2000/36/1

Object Statement

Medical chest, containing medications/ dressings/ medical instruments and instruction sheets, metal / mixed materials, various manufacturers, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, 1987

Physical Description

Medical chest, containing medications/ dressings/ medical instruments and instruction sheets, metal / mixed materials, various manufacturers, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, 1987.

The medical chest is a green, strong, metal box with a hinged lid that has two spring catches and a third catch suitable for attaching a padlock. The box has carrying handles on either side, and inside the box there are four metal trays.

Taped inside the lid there is a laminated card listing the contents of the box. Each item is numbered.

The box does not contain a full complement of items as listed on the contents card. Instead, the donors have sent a selection of medications, dressings and first-aid instruments that fill the top tray. Each of these items has a number sticker that matches its item number on the contents card.

There are four other photocopied sheets enclosed in a plastic envelope. They are:
'Supplement to RFDS medical chest/ Giving a medical history'.
A body chart, front view, with regions of the body numbered.
A body chart, back view.
'Note the presence or absence of the following conditions ...

Dimensions

Height

350 mm

Width

445 mm

Depth

410 mm

Weight

12.5 kg

Production

Notes

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) medical chests were introduced to the outback in 1942. This example being acquired for the Powerhouse Museum was manufactured in 1987. No details have been obtained about the design or manufacture of the chest itself.

The medications included in the box are proprietary items made by a number of different pharmaceutical and medical manufacturers.

The RFDS Body Chart that is included in each medical chest is produced by the RFDS. The first ever Body Chart was drawn by Sister Lucy Garlick in Broome, Western Australia in 1951.

The medical chest is of the type distributed, complete with contents, by the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. The following wording appears on the laminated 'Contents' card in the lid of the chest:
'The contents of this Medical Chest were supplied by the Commonwealth Government without cost to the original chest holder for use at a designated location or for a specific project or business undertaking ...'

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) medical chests were introduced to the outback in 1942. This example being acquired for the Powerhouse Museum was manufactured in 1987. No details have been obtained about the design or manufacture of the chest itself.

The medications included in the box are proprietary items made by a number of different pharmaceutical and medical manufacturers.

The RFDS Body Chart that is included in each medical chest is produced by the RFDS. The first ever Body Chart was drawn by Sister Lucy Garlick in Broome, Western Australia in 1951.

Printed on the laminated card in the lid of the chest is the wording: 'Royal Flying Doctor Service/ Medical Chest 1987 ...'.

History

Notes

The medical chest is of the type distributed, complete with contents, by the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. The following wording appears on the laminated 'Contents' card in the lid of the chest:
'The contents of this Medical Chest were supplied by the Commonwealth Government without cost to the original chest holder for use at a designated location or for a specific project or business undertaking ...'

This example being acquired for the Powerhouse Museum was manufactured in 1987. It was originally used on an outback station in South Australia (exact location unknown) then it was used as a display chest for exhibitions etc. The contents are not the complete complement of medications that would normally be included in the box. They are part of the selection of medications that the RFDS (Central Section) used to include when they put the chest on display.

Information supplied by Ms Kristen Phillips, Media and Development Officer, RFDS (Central Section).

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Central Section), 2000

Acquisition Date

28 February 2000

Cite this Object

Harvard

Medical chest and contents 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2021, <https://ma.as/8810>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/8810 |title=Medical chest and contents |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}