Radio 4's Quentin Cooper is joined by our very own Dr Lesley Hall to explore Victorian governmental attempts to protect servicemen from sexually transmitted diseases by controlling prostitution, and the resulting campaigns to oppose this policy.
The mystery object revealed during the event was a vaginal speculum with a mirrored interior and a gum elastic covering. This type of speculum was used by doctors carrying out the internal examinations required by the Contagious Diseases Acts passed in the 1860s. It was manfactured by S. Maw of London between 1851 and 1900.
See the object
This object is from the Wellcome Collection at the Science Museum, reference number A646883.
This event was recorded live at Wellcome Collection on 20 July 2011.