Medical History Museum
Explore Medical History
Free of charge and open to the public, the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare
System Museum of Medical History strives to provide an interesting and
educational window to our scientific past so that we can more easily understand
and contribute to the continued progress of healthcare. It is our goal
to spark an interest, especially in children and young people, in careers
in science and medicine.
The Museum offers a rare and interesting look at the evolution of medicine
and medical equipment over the past three centuries. Displays are experienced
via informative, easy-to-read text and recorded narration. You'll
discover antique and obsolete medical instruments and equipment dating
back as far as the 1700s and memorabilia and various items used in local
hospitals during the past 100 years.
Some of the displays you'll see at the Museum of Medical History include:
- A Civil War surgical kit
- A doctor's office circa 1920 featuring furniture and instruments used
to perform a tonsillectomy.
- Surgery case complete with an operating table owned by Dr. Henry Murphy,
John Steinbeck's family doctor. Other larger diagnostic machines are
- Two cases of medical items dating from the 1700s to World War I (1918)
and including many instruments used during the Civil War.
- A display of memorabilia spanning the 50-year history of the Salinas Valley
Memorial Hospital Service League, and the nursing profession.
Located in the Downing Resource Center
Self-guided tours available 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Guided tours for adults and community groups and the interactive program
for second and third grade students are available by appointment. (Guided
tours or Children's Educational Interactive Tours may be arranged
by call 755-0772. These tours are formatted for second and third grade
students. We plan to expand to other grade levels as our volunteer docent
Tours are provided by volunteer docents. If you would like to volunteer
as a docent or in one of many other exciting areas of the Service League,
please contact the Volunteer Services Office at (831) 755-0772. For more
information or to schedule a tour, call the Volunteer Services Department
or visit the website and click on Volunteers.
The programs and the museum are sponsored by Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Volunteer Service League, and the Volunteer Services Department and Medical
Staff of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.