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Your Guide to Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum

The Mutter Museum is a fascinating and unique medical museum located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1858 by Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter, a physician and professor at Jefferson Medical College. The museum is home to an extensive collection of medical artifacts, anatomical and pathological specimens, and antique medical equipment. It is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history of medicine and medical science. Here is your guide to the Mutter Museum.

Mutter Museum: From History to Exhibits

History of the Mutter Museum

Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1811. He suffered from a deformity of the face and jaw which caused him to be self-conscious and shy. Despite this, he pursued a career in medicine and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1831. He went on to study in Europe and returned to Philadelphia in 1836 to begin his medical practice and teach at Jefferson Medical College.

Throughout his career, Dr. Mutter was known for his innovative surgical techniques and for his work in developing plastic surgery as a medical specialty. He was also an avid collector of medical specimens, and he donated his extensive collection to Jefferson Medical College in 1858 to be used for teaching purposes. The collection eventually grew into what is now known as the Mutter Museum.

Exhibits at the Mutter Museum

The Mutter Museum is home to a vast collection of medical artifacts and specimens. Some of the most notable exhibits include:

  1. The Soap Lady – a woman whose body was preserved in soap after her death in the 19th century.
  2. The Giant Colon – a 40-foot-long replica of a human colon which shows the effects of various gastrointestinal diseases.
  3. The Hyrtl Skull Collection – a collection of over 140 human skulls collected by Viennese anatomist Joseph Hyrtl in the 19th century.
  4. The Civil War Collection – a collection of surgical instruments and medical equipment used during the Civil War.
  5. The Conjoined Liver – a preserved liver from conjoined twins.

Visiting the Mutter Museum

The Mutter Museum is located at 19 S. 22nd Street in Philadelphia. It is open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $15 for students and children. Members of the museum and children under 5 are admitted for free.

When visiting the museum, it’s important to keep in mind that the exhibits can be graphic and may not be suitable for all visitors. Some exhibits, such as the Soap Lady, may be particularly disturbing to some people. The museum also has a strict no photography policy, so visitors are not allowed to take photos of the exhibits.

If you’re planning a visit to the Mutter Museum, it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to explore the exhibits. The museum is home to a vast collection, and there is a lot to see and learn. You may want to consider taking a guided tour, which is offered daily at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. The tours are led by knowledgeable staff members who can provide additional information and answer questions.


The Mutter Museum is a unique and fascinating destination for anyone interested in the history of medicine and medical science. From the Soap Lady to the Giant Colon, the museum’s exhibits offer a glimpse into the human body and the diseases and conditions that affect it. If you’re planning a visit to Philadelphia, be sure to add the Mutter Museum to your itinerary. Moreover, if you or someone you care about has been a victim of personal injury in Philadelphia, it’s crucial to seek help from a reputable Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, such as those at This includes incidents of medical malpractice, where an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can assist you in exploring your legal options and seeking compensation for your damages.

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