Holdings in Anthropology and Medicine
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Holdings of instruments used in medicine and anthropology in theYale Peabody Museum’s Division of Historical Scientific Instruments include the following:



  • A collection of early anthropometers, calipers and craniometers.
  • A bronze model of a cranium used as a “control” skull for measuring skull capacity.
  • A cubic craniophore and skull pincers.
  • A board for measuring human stature.


  • Prints of early X-ray plates (made from 1896 to 1916), some of which were taken by John H. Bumstead.
  • A collection of X-ray tubes.
  • A collection of early anatomical models.
  • Glass syringes
  • Electrotherapy devices

The Yale Peabody Museum’s collections are available to legitimate researchers for scholarly use. Loans are issued to responsible individuals at established institutions. Loans and access to the collection can be arranged through the Collections Manager.

Bronze Model of a Cranium


YPM catalog no. 13.10


This bronze cranium model has a volume of 1299.7 cubic centimeters. It was used as the “control” or standard skull that other skulls were compared to. The skull has a hole at the base where a substance like seed or lead shot was poured in. The amount the skull held was then measured to give the volume of the skull.



YPM catalog no. 13.53

Early X-ray Plates


YPM catalog nos . 5.564, 5.565

X-ray Tubes


YPM catalog nos. 5.220, 5.221
See also YPM catalog nos.
5.228, 5.227, 5.224

Early Anatomical Models


YPM catalog nos. 30.8a, 30.8b.

Glass Syringes


YPM catalog no. 30.8a (top)
Length 5 inches (13 centimeters)
Diameter 0.75 inch (1.9 centimeters)

YPM catalog no. 30.8b (bottom)
Length 5.5 inches (14 centimeters)
Diameter 0.5 inches (1.3 centimeters)

Electrotherapy Devices


YPM catalog nos.
30.15 (bottom), 30.16 (top).