Sidney Beardmore Order Books

Medicine in the twentieth century became a global trade, and the horizons of medical sales representatives expanded to Cairo or Cape Town. The Chas. F. Thackray company began exporting surgical instruments and hospital supplies overseas in the 1920s. Sidney Beardmore, one of Thackray’s first overseas representatives, travelled the world selling Thackray products.

Across thirteen notebooks, Beardmore reported on visits to hospitals and surgeries across Africa, Europe and the Middle East during the 1930s.

The books are filled with extensive observations on the medical capabilities, governance, and economies of countries he visited, sending requests for orders of equipment back to Thackray’s offices here in Leeds. He even represented the Thackray company at the International Surgical Congress in Cairo in 1935-1936, reporting back on meetings with prestigious surgeons from across the world.

In between his observations of local hospitals, Beardmore found time for sightseeing, recording a trip with hospital board members to South Africa’s scenic ‘Valley of Desolation’.

The Beardmore Order Books are now held in the library at the Thackray Museum of Medicine.