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Health by design: teaching cleanliness and assembling hygiene at the nineteenth-century sanitation museum


In 1878, amid a rapidly proliferating social interest in public health and cleanliness, a group of sanitary scientists and reformers founded the Parkes Museum of Hygiene in central London. Dirt and contagion knew no social boundaries, and the Parkes's founders conceived of the museum as a dynamic space for all classes to better themselves and their environments. They promoted sanitary science through a variety of initiatives: exhibits of scientific, medical and architectural paraphernalia; product endorsements; and lectures and certificated courses in practical sanitation, food inspection and tropical hygiene. While the Parkes's programmes reified the era's hierarchies of class and gender, it also pursued a public-health mission that cut across these divisions. Set apart from the great cultural and scientific popular museums that dominated Victorian London, it exhibited a collection with little intrinsic value, and offered an education in hygiene designed to be imported into visitors’ homes and into urban spaces in the metropole and beyond. This essay explores the unique contributions of the Parkes Museum to late nineteenth-century sanitary science and to museum development, even as the growth of public-health policy rendered the museum obsolete.

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I am deeply indebted to Seth Koven and Carla Yanni for their invaluable instruction and readings of numerous drafts of this article. I would also like to thank, for their comments and assistance, A.J. Blandford, M. Dale Booth, Alexander Hyde, Clare Kim, Vivien Ravdin, Katherine Ryan and Andrew Seaton. Special thanks are due to Beverly Bergman, who first ‘rediscovered’ the Parkes in 2003 and helped me track down several records; to the obliging staff at the Wellcome Library Rare Materials Room; and to Charlotte Sleigh and the two anonymous reviewers for their generous comments and suggestions.

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1 Wells, Herbert George, Certain Personal Matters: A Collection of Material, Mainly Autobiographical, London: Laurence and Bullen, 1898, pp. 185187.

2 ‘The Parkes Museum of Hygiene opening of the new building’, The Builder, 2 June 1883, p. 736.

3 ‘Parkes Museum of Hygiene’, London Daily News, 28 July 1880, p. 6.

4 This article is indebted to the works which have rediscovered the Parkes in the last two decades, notably Bergman, B.P. and Miller, S.A.J., ‘Historical perspectives on health: the Parkes Museum of Hygiene and the Sanitary Institute’, Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (2003) 123(55), pp. 5860; and those which have contextualized it in the history of museums, science and changing cityscapes, particularly Forgan, Sophie, ‘From modern Babylon to White City: science, technology, and urban change in London, 1870–1914’, in Levin, Miriam R., Forgan, Sophie, Hessler, Martina, Kargon, Robert H. and Low, Morris (eds.), Urban Modernity: Cultural Innovation in the Second Industrial Revolution, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010, pp. 75132, 97–98.

5 Bennett, Tony, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics, London: Routledge, 1995; Godsen, C. and Larson, F., Knowing Things: Exploring the Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007; and Goldgar, Anne, ‘The British Museum and the virtual representation of culture in the eighteenth century’, Albion (2000) 32, pp. 195231.

6 Bud, Robert, ‘Infected by the bacillus of science: the explosion of South Kensington’, in Morris, Peter (ed.), Science for the Nation: Perspectives on the History of the Science Museum, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, pp. 1140. Helmut Trischler makes this case in the context of European technical museums, arguing that they only took on their role as educational establishments in the early twentieth century. Trischler, Helmut, ‘Zwischen Geschichte und Zukunft’, in Nikolow, Sybilla (ed.), Erkenne Dich selbst! Strategien der Sichtbarmachung des Körpers in 20. Jahrhundert, Cologne: Böhlau, 2015, pp. 4748.

7 Wells, op. cit. (1), pp. 124–125.

8 Wells, op. cit. (1), p. 125.

9 De Chaderevian, Soraya and Hopwood, Nick (eds.), Models: The Third Dimension of Science, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997; Macdonald, Sharon, ‘Exhibitions of power and powers of exhibition: an introduction to the politics of display’, in Macdonald, (ed.), The Politics of Display: Museums, Science, Culture, London: Routledge, 1998, pp. 124, 10–11; Tucker, Jennifer, Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005; and Daston, Lorraine and Galison, Peter, Objectivity, New York: Zone, 2007.

10 See, among others, Brown, Julie K., Health and Medicine on Display: International Expositions in the United States, 1876–1904, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009; and Nikolow, op. cit. (6).

11 Reinarz, Jonathan, ‘The age of museum medicine: the rise and fall of the Medical Museum at Birmingham's School of Medicine’, Social History of Medicine (2005) 18, pp. 419437.

12 Reinarz, op. cit. (11); Alberti, Samuel J.M.M., Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011; Arnold, Ken and Olsen, Danielle, Medicine Man: The Forgotten Museum of Henry Wellcome, London: British Museum Press, 2003. On nineteenth-century British anatomy museums and their audience and controversies see Maritha Rene Burmeister, ‘Popular anatomical museums in nineteenth-century England’, PhD dissertation, Rutgers University, 2000; Bates, A.W., ‘“Indecent and demoralising representations”: public anatomy museums in mid-Victorian England’, Medical History (2008) 52, pp. 122; and Bates, Dr Kahn's Museum: obscene anatomy in Victorian London’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (2006) 99, pp. 618624.

13 On the rise of disease theories see Worboys, Michael, Spreading Germs: Disease Theories and Medical Practice in Britain, 1865–1900, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000; and Tomes, Nancy, The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

14 Otter, Christopher, ‘Cleansing and clarifying: technology and perception in nineteenth-century London’, Journal of British Studies (January 2004) 43, pp. 4064, 40.

15 The boom in sanitary science, public-health reform and its increasing bureaucratization and regulation has been well studied. Mooney, Graham, Intrusive Interventions: Public Health, Domestic Space, and Infectious Disease Surveillance in England, 1840–1914, Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2015; Cohen, William A. and Johnson, Ryan (eds.), Filth: Dirt, Disgust, and Modern Life, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005; Goldman, Lawrence, Science, Reform, and Politics in Victorian Britain: The Social Science Association 1857–1886, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002; Jackson, Lee, Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight against Filth, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015; Roy MacLeod, Public Science and Public Policy in Victorian England, Aldershot: Variorum, 1996; and Wohl, Anthony S., Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.

16 Allen, Michael, Cleansing the City: Sanitary Geographies in Victorian London, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008.

17 Hamlett, Jane and Preston, Rebecca, ‘“A veritable palace for the hard-working labourer”? Space, material culture, and inmate experience in London's Rowton Houses’, in Hamlett, Jane (ed.), Residential Institutions in Britain, 1725–1970: Inmates and Environments, London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013, pp. 93107.

18 Miskell, Louise, Meeting Places: Scientific Congresses and Urban Identity in Victorian Britain, London: Routledge, 2016.

19 Hamlin, Christopher, Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick: Britain, 1800–1854, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp. 275279.

20 ‘Letter to the editor’, British Architect and Northern Engineer, 6 December 1878, p. 224.

21 G.V. Poore, ‘Hygiene and the “Parkes” museum’, Good Words (January 1879) 20, pp. 553–558, 554.

22 A series of excellent, wide-ranging studies of the centrality of these institutions in Victorian culture was published in the 2000s. On the South Kensington Museum, later the Victoria and Albert, see Kriegel, Lara, Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007; on late nineteenth-century science exhibitions, Yanni, Carla, Nature's Museums: Victorian Science and the Architecture of Display, Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press, 2005; on the London Museum and folk history, Bailkin, Jordanna, ‘Radical conservations: the problem with the London Museum’, Radical History Review (Fall 2002) 84, pp. 4376; on municipal public museums throughout England, Hill, Kate, Culture and Class in English Public Museums, 1850–1914, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005; and the work of Samuel Alberti, J.M.M., including Nature and Culture: Objects, Disciplines, and the Manchester Museum, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012.

23 Forgan, Sophie, ‘Building the museum: knowledge, conflict, and the power of place’, Isis (2005) 96, pp. 572585.

24 ‘A national museum of hygiene’, Morning Post, 4 Dec. 1878, p. 2.

25 ‘The Parkes Museum of Hygiene’, The Builder (31 July 1880) 39, p. 150.

26 Liversidge, Archibald, Report upon Certain Museums for Technology, Science, and Art, Sydney: Thomas Richards, 1880, p. 13.

27 On object-based epistemologies of the museum see the work of Conn, Steven, including Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876–1926, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998; and Do Museums Still Need Objects?, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

28 Poore, op. cit. (21), p. 556.

29 ‘Meeting at Mansion House in support of the Parkes Museum of Hygiene held on the 13th’, Daily News, 14 February 1885, p. 2.

30 ‘Meeting at Mansion House’, op. cit. (29), p. 2. Galton served for over a decade as a general secretary for the British Association for the Advancement of Science. His inventions often benefited the public as much as the military: spending much time on the sanitary construction of military barracks and hospitals, he developed the Galton grate, a ventilating fire grate which burned coal more efficiently and reduced the amount of smoke and waste gases that drifted into interior rooms. ‘Obituary: Sir Douglas Strutt Galton’, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (January 1899) 137, pp. 413–417.

31 ‘Meeting at Mansion House’, op. cit. (29), p. 2.

32 ‘The Parkes Museum of Hygiene’, The Times, 28 July 1880, p. 7.

33 See, for example, the Thomas Cook Handbook for London, the Baedeker Handbook for Travellers, the Greenwood Guides to Museums and Art Galleries, the Charles Gillig Guides to London for American Travellers, and the Langham Hotel's annual guides to London for its guests.

34 The Parkes Museum of Hygiene, 1879, the Wellcome Library, London (hereafter WL) SA/RSP/A/4/1.

35 Galton asserted that Judge resigned due to an ‘increase of his private work’. His politics in and outside the museum echoed his secular radicalism. Later, as the honourary secretary of the Sunday Society, his push for museums like the Parkes to open to the public on the Sabbath was, in part, intended to expand the working classes’ access to public institutions. Five years after leaving the museum, he used his elected membership of the Metropolitan Board of Works to fiercely question its integrity during the Herschell Commission's investigation. Parkes Museum annual report general meeting, 9 July 1884, WL SA/RSP/A/4/1; Owen, David, The Government of Victorian London, 1855–1889: The Metropolitan Board of Works, the Vestries, and the City Corporation, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982, pp. 192, 207; ‘Notes’, Nature (25 June 1896) 54(1391), p. 183. On the Sunday Society and rational recreation see Bailey, Peter, Leisure and Class in Victorian England: Rational Recreation and the Contest for Control, 1830–1885, London: Routledge, 2014.

36 ‘The Parkes Museum’, Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art (2 June 1883) 55(1440), p. 687.

37 Judge, Mark H. (comp.), Descriptive Catalogue of the Parkes Museum of Hygiene (ed. Corfield, W.H and Dr Poore, G.V.), London: The Executive Committee of the Parkes Museum, 1879, WL SA/RSP/A/4/4/1, p. 5.

38 These complaints were intimately tied to the rhetoric of and campaigns against ‘overcrowding’ in the late Victorian city. On hygiene reformers’ configuration of housing as the root of sanitary problems see Jackson, op. cit. (15), pp. 209–211; on the decline of formal apprenticing and regulated training for trades like plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry, masonry and plastering, among others, see Pelling, Henry, Popular Politics and Society in Late Victorian Britain, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1979, pp. 4446.

39 Address by George Wilson’, Transactions of the Sanitary Institute (1889) 10, pp. 9798.

40 On the regular use of and campaign against arsenic in Victorian manufactures see Bartrip, P.W.J., ‘How green was my valance? Environmental arsenic poisoning and the Victorian domestic ideal’, English Historical Review (1994) 109, pp. 891913; Whorton, James C., The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010; David, Alison Matthews, Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present, London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2015. Descriptive Catalogue of the Parkes Museum, 1879, p. 44.

41 Descriptive Catalogue of the Parkes Museum, 1879, p. 45.

42 Among the prolific histories of cholera and public health in Britain see Wohl, op. cit. (15); Gilbert, Pamela, Cholera and Nation: Doctoring the Social Body in Victorian England, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008; Mclean, David, Public Health and Politics in the Age of Reform: Cholera, the State, and the Royal Navy in Victorian Britain, London: I.B. Tauris, 2006; and Arnold, David, ‘Cholera and colonialism in British India’, Past and Present (1986) 113, pp. 118151.

43 The coffin, constructed out of perishable yet sturdy compressed pulp, was intended to hasten the decay of the corpse once buried. Several doctors, including the surgeon Francis Seymour Haden, believed that earth burials should facilitate quick decomposition to avoid the risk of long-decaying bodies imparting disease to the living. Thus compostable coffins were preferable to heavy wooden vessels. Wickes, Stephen, Sepulture: Its History, Methods and Sanitary Requisites, Philadelphia: Blakiston, 1884, pp. 142143; ‘Burial reform and patent coffins’, The Lancet (26 March 1892) 139, p. 710; Francis Seymour Haden to editor, The Times, London, 12 January 1875, p. 10.

44 On public interest in interior design see Cohen, Deborah, Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. On the classed allure of slum tours see Koven, Seth, Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004; and Pike, David Lawrence, Subterranean Cities: The World Beneath Paris and London, 1800–1945, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005.

45 Descriptive Catalogue of the Parkes Museum, London: The Sanitary Institute, 1891, p. 6, WL SA/RSP/A/4/4/3.

46 Kriegel, op. cit. (22).

47 Untitled, London Daily News, 28 May 1883, p. 2.

48 Parkes, Edmund Alexander, A Manual of Practical Hygiene, London: J. & A. Churchill, 1873, p. xxi.

49 Sir Douglas Galton, ‘The future of the amalgamated societies’, 6 December 1888, WL SA/RSP/A/4/5.

50 Increasingly popular from the 1880s to the 1920s, cellular clothing was manufactured out of loosely woven cotton, a combination of cotton and silk, and occasionally wool. Its porous texture allowed greater circulation between skin and air, affording better breathability in the summer and purportedly more insulation in the winter. ‘Reports and analyses and descriptions of new inventions in medicine, surgery, dietetics, and the allied sciences’, British Medical Journal (October 1888) 2(1451), pp. 885–886.

51 ‘The Royal Sanitary Institute’, British Architect (2 July 1909) 72(1), p. 17.

52 The Parkes's geography speaks in a way that site architecture did for other museums of the day. See Forgan, Sophie, ‘Bricks and bones: architecture and science in Victorian Britain’, in Galison, Peter and Thompson, Emily (eds.), The Architecture of Science, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999, pp. 181208; and Yanni, op. cit. (22).

53 The Sanitarian, quoted in ‘Hygiene as a subject for museum illustration’, Museums Journal (June 1902) 1, pp. 128–131, 130.

54 ‘Hygiene as a subject for museum illustration’, op. cit. (53), 130.

55 On the enduring spirit of ‘international emulation and competition’ in the second industrial revolution, see Miriam R. Levin, ‘Coda’, in Levin et al., op. cit. (4), pp. 255–260.

56 Conn, Do Museums Still Need Objects?, op. cit. (27), p. 26.

57 Corfield was a prodigious sanitary activist both professionally and politically. The first appointed professor of hygiene at University College London, he advocated for the establishment of the Parkes Museum, helped to shape and administer the Public Health Act of 1875 and served as the medical officer of health for St. George's, Hanover Square, for twenty-eight years. Corfield, like many other activists involved in the Parkes's Museum, combined his professional work with public advocacy. He acted as a sanitary consultant throughout the country and, like Mark Judge, served as a chairman of the Sunday Society, encouraging museums, galleries and libraries to open their gates on Sundays. ‘The National Health Society’, Morning Post, 7 March 1879, p. 6; Obituary: William Henry Corfield’, Journal of the Sanitary Institute (1903) 24(3), pp. 503535.

58 Cantlie, John, Degeneration amongst Londoners: A Lecture Delivered at the Parkes Museum of Hygiene, January 27, 1885, London: Field & Tuer, 1885; and Report of the Council, November 27th, 1889,” Transactions of the Royal Sanitary Institute (1889) 10, pp. 5158, 54.

59 The Parkes Museum’, Transactions of the Sanitary Institute: Supplement (1907) 27, pp. 6670.

60 Journal of the Society of Estate Clerks of Works (1903) 16, p. 33; pamphlets on The Parkes Museum Descriptive Catalogue of Sections: House Drainage, 1912–1915, WL SA/RSP/A/4/4/6.

61 Alberti, op. cit. (12), pp. 173–174; Bates, ‘Indecent and demoralising representations’, op. cit. (12); Burmeister, op. cit. (12).

62 On the creation of ‘new women’ through the fin de siecle museum enterprise in Britain, and the gendering of knowledge within the museum, see Hill, Kate, Women and Museums 1850–1914: Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016, pp. 813.

63 ‘The Parkes Museum of Hygiene’, British Medical Journal (12 May 1888) 1(1428), p. 1019.

64 ‘London’, London Daily News, 23 January 1885, p. 5.

65 ‘London’, op. cit. (65), p. 5.

66 Priestley recorded her visits to sanitary spaces and her own attempts to fashion a fully sanitary home. See, among others, Priestley, Eliza, Hygiene under Difficulties: Our Highland Home, London: Allman, 1891; and Priestley, Winged Carriers of Disease, New York: Tucker Publishing Co., 1900.

67 Mrs Priestley, Unseen Dangers in the Home, Read at the Parkes Museum, January 22, 1885, London: National Health Society, 1885, p. 23.

68 ‘A plea for housekeeping schools’, Review of Reviews (1893) 6, p. 480.

69 ‘Advertisement: the physical culture of women’, The Athenaeum (30 June 1888) 3166, p. 838.

70 ‘Chreiman physical culture department’, Educational Times (1 August 1887) 34, p. 282. On Chreiman see Hilary Marland, Health and Girlhood in Britain, 1874–1920, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp. 127–129.

71 Doleris, Jacques-Amédée, ‘Les sports au point de vue de l'hygiene, chez la femme et la jeune fille’, in Kerr, James and White, E. Wallis (eds.), Second International Congress on School Hygiene, Transactions, London: Royal Sanitary Institute, 1908, pp. 3132.

72 Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Ina, Managing the Body: Beauty, Health and Fitness in Britain, 1880–1939, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

73 Address by Dr. Alfred Carpenter, May 7, 1884’, Transactions of the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain (1885) 6, p. 25, emphasis mine.

74 ‘Address by Dr. Alfred Carpenter’, op. cit. (73), p. 24.

75 Galton, op. cit. (49).

76 Course of training in practical hygiene’, Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute (1900) 21, p. 654.

77 Assorted pamphlets on The Parkes Museum Descriptive Catalogue of Sections: House Drainage, 1912–1915, WL SA/RSP/A/4/4/6, Folder 6.

78 Between the years 1905 and 1914, attendance and certification levels remained largely steady in proportion to the number of examination courses offered. For example, the five largest examination courses (Sanitary Science, Hygiene in Its Bearing on School Life, Women Health Visitors, Inspectors of Nuisances, and Inspectors of Meat and Other Foods), total enrollment grew throughout the 1900s, plateauing from 1910 to the First World War. From a total of 865 students in 1905, attendance grew to 1,188 in 1909, 1,228 in 1910, 1,187 in 1911, 1,077 in 1912, 1,196 in 1913, and 1,279 in 1914. Beginning in 1915, this figure fell, presumably due to increased enlistment in the military services. See Transactions of the Royal Sanitary Institute, years 1905–1915, volumes 26–36.

79 ‘Supplement’, Transactions of the Royal Sanitary Institute (1910) 31, p. 60.

80 Statistics on visiting students, institutions, and non-student visitors are mixed or unavailable before the museum's incorporation with the Sanitary Institute.

81 ‘Supplement to annual report’, Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute (1907) 27, p. 54.

82 Yanni, op. cit. (22), p. 93.

83 Transactions of the Sanitary Institute (1891) 12, pp. 85–92.

84 Descriptive Catalogue of the Parkes Museum of Hygiene, 1879, p. 50.

85 Wells, op. cit. (1), p. 126.

86 ‘International medical and sanitary exhibition, 1881’, Medical Times and Gazette (23 July 1881) 2, p. 99.

87 Cohen, op. cit. (44), pp. 12–15.

88 Illustrated London News (1 February 1902) 3276, p. 188.

89 Nead, Linda, Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth-Century London, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000, p. 16.

90 In December 1892 the Highgate Museum of Sanitary Appliances was opened by the lord mayor of London. Created in response to a public inspection of the local board's work during a cholera scare, the collection focused on drainage and plumbing. In contrast to the well-funded Parkes Museum, the Highgate was only open once a week, and did not have the same turnover of exhibitions. Though it discouraged advertising, it functioned largely as a showroom for the well-off residents of the district's Georgian houses, allowing them to examine and reconstruct the inner workings of their domestic interiors. Its small collection received attention in the British Architect; the American medical journal The Lancet (1894) 18, p. 176; and The Engineer (1893) 76, among others. ‘A local board museum of sanitary appliances’, British Architect, 9 December 1892, p. 432.

91 Transactions of the Sanitary Institute (1891) 12, pp. 93–102.

92 Trischler, op. cit. (6), p. 52.

93 ‘The Technological, Industrial, and Sanitary Museum’, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 1880, p. 3; ‘Sanitary exhibition’, Daily News, 12 August 1881, p. 3. The TISM was formally established as a branch of the Australian Museum, completed in 1880, and emphasized that it was a practical museum, rather than a cabinet de curiosité. The last adjective ‘Sanitary’ was added with the idea of embracing the Parkes Museum as a true imperial counterpart; it additionally allowed for the inclusion of medical materials. For more analysis of the role of technological exhibitions and museums in imperial realms see Roy MacLeod, Archibald Liversidge: Imperial Science under the Southern Cross, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009, pp. 201–203.

94 MacLeod, Roy, ‘Founding: South Kensington to Sydney’, in Davison, Graeme and Webber, Kimberley (eds.), Yesterday's Tomorrows: The Powerhouse Museum and Its Precursors 1880–2005, Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 2005, pp. 4254.

95 Rodriguez, Julia, Civilizing Argentina: Science, Medicine, and the Modern State, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006, p. 43.

96 Bashford, Alison, Imperial Hygiene: A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism and Public Health, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

97 ‘The Royal Sanitary Institute’, British Architect (1909) 72, p. 17.

98 ‘Parkes Museum’, Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute, supplement (1907) 27, p. 66.

99 ‘Our forgotten museums’, Yorkshire Telegraph & Star, 3 February 1920, p. 4.

100 In 1956 the formal museum closed. The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health removed the Parkes name and opened a series of rotating exhibits under the Health Exhibition Centre title to better target a public interested in shorter, themed displays. See Bergman and Miller, op. cit. (4), pp. 60–61.

101 Luckin, Bill, ‘The metropolitan and the municipal: the politics of health and environment in London, 1860–1920’, in Colls, Robert and Rodger, Richard (eds.), Cities of Ideas: Civil Society and Urban Governance in Britain 1800–2000, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, pp. 4666.

102 Wells, op. cit. (1), p. 178.

103 On the sociotechnical imaginary see Jasanoff, Sheila, ‘Future imperfect: science, technology, and the imaginations of modernity’, in Jasanoff, Sheila and Kim, Sang-Hyun (eds.), Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015, p. 19.

104 Bud, op. cit. (6).

I am deeply indebted to Seth Koven and Carla Yanni for their invaluable instruction and readings of numerous drafts of this article. I would also like to thank, for their comments and assistance, A.J. Blandford, M. Dale Booth, Alexander Hyde, Clare Kim, Vivien Ravdin, Katherine Ryan and Andrew Seaton. Special thanks are due to Beverly Bergman, who first ‘rediscovered’ the Parkes in 2003 and helped me track down several records; to the obliging staff at the Wellcome Library Rare Materials Room; and to Charlotte Sleigh and the two anonymous reviewers for their generous comments and suggestions.

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