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British Industrial History

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Parkes Museum of Hygiene

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1876 The Parkes Museum was founded to commemorate the life and work of Edmund Alexander Parkes (1819-1876), who was the first Professor of Military Hygiene at the Army Medical School and one of the pioneers of the public health reforms of the nineteenth century.

The Museum was a multi-disciplinary institution which aimed to teach an awareness of public health matters to the general public and members of the building trade, thereby encouraging healthy design of living accommodation.

The Sanitary Institute (which had been founded in the same year) sought to improve public health practice by setting standards for health professionals. The aims of the two organisations were therefore complementary. From 1883 they occupied the same premises in Margaret Street, London.

1888 The Sanitary Institute amalgamated with the Parkes Museum[1]

1909 the Parkes Museum moved to new accomodation.

Mid-1950s: extensive refurbishment, together with a change of focus from museum to exhibition, led to its reopening in 1961 as the Health Exhibition Centre.

1971 The Centre closed when the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, the successor to The Sanitary Institute, moved to new accommodation in Grosvenor Place, London.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Dec. 8, 1888
  • Historical perspectives on health. The Parkes Museum of Hygiene and the Sanitary Institute, by B P Bergman and S A StJ Miller, 2003