The Historic England Archive has rediscovered a collection of over 4,000 photographs taken by the Topical Press Agency. Dating between 1938 and 1943, they show healthcare in England before and during the Second World War. The story of how the Archive acquired the photographs is a mystery.
The Topical Press Agency Medical Collection
The Historic England Archive's Topical Press Agency Medical Collection comprises over 4,000 black and white photographic prints.
They were taken by the Topical Press Agency, a commercial press photography agency that was formed in 1903. The firm supplied images to newspapers, and undertook commissions for numerous companies, government departments and journals.
Our fascinating collection, which dates from 1938 to 1943, covers a broad range of subjects relating to medicine and health care in England. They show staff in training and at work, and a number of treatments, techniques and machinery at a range of medical establishments, some of which are now redundant or demolished.
Most of the collections we care for have definitive origins. However, the reason why we have our Medical Collection is a mystery - no documentation has yet been found to explain how or why it was acquired.
We hope you enjoy this small selection of images and encourage you to visit the Historic England Archive to discover more.
Historic England is the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England's spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops.
Our archive holds over 12 million photographs, drawings, reports and publications from the 1850s to the present day, covering the whole country.
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