Early Modern Medical Laboratories


William Harvey. An Anatomical Dissertation upon the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals: Being a Statement of the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood. Canterbury: G. Moreton, 1894.

Although the great medical discoveries of modern times are associated with traditional biological and chemical laboratories, some of the earliest knowledge about the form and function of the human body came from simply observing it. 

Andreas Vesalius conducted anatomy lessons on cadavers in operating theaters. William Harvey’s insight into the circulatory system resulted from his observation of the pulse and prominent blood vessels. Over a century later, Edward Jenner and others experimented with early vaccines by introducing antigens into the human body in an attempt to prevent diseases such as smallpox. Represented are just a few of the most influential medical works of all time.