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Model of a MacPherson-type ambulance, England, 1851-1900

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Known as a ‘Madras wagon’, this type of ambulance had space for eight men sitting up or for two lying down. Pulled by two or more horses, the journey would have been uncomfortable, especially over rough terrain. The ambulance is named after Duncan MacPherson (1812-1867), a military surgeon who served in China and India. The model was used at the Royal Army Medical College to teach students about military medicine. It was donated to the Wellcome collections in 1939.

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    Glossary: model - representation

    Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.

    Glossary: ambulance

    A vehicle used for taking people to and from hospital for treatment, particularly in emergencies.