Surgical and other instruments have been lovingly restored and are now on display at the newly opened SGH Museum.

After months of planning and renovation, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Museum is open to visitors again at the Bowyer Block, which has a rich history. It is part of an ensemble of buildings built in 1926 that marks the start of the modern SGH. Since then, it has undergone a sea change that brings it into the 21st century.

Preparation for the revamped SGH Museum involved a curation of the Museum’s treasures by Ms Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Sites and Monuments, National Heritage Board; and Ms Amelia Gin, Deputy Director, Communications Department and Museum, SGH.

“We were involved in choosing the most interesting artefacts to display, looking into how they were cleaned, and so on,” said Ms Gin. As the former head of SGH’s operating theatres, she knows the surgical equipment like the back of her hands.

“Many instruments were tarnished or discoloured due to oxidation, and some had rust and stains. Special polish powder and lubricants were used to restore the equipment’s shine and functionality. After polishing, details like the instruments’ manufacturers, catalogue numbers and countries of origin became evident, which enabled further research into their usage and period of use,” Ms Gin added.

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