The Thackray company started as a corner pharmacy in 1902 and grew into a major international supplier of medical supplies and sundries.

Pattern book front cover
Pattern book front cover

In the early twentieth century, Leeds was a growing city with an increasing number of medical professional and practitioners. Company owner and director Chas. F. Thackray and his team were able to work with a number of eminent and successful surgeons (such as Berkeley (later Lord) Moynihan), helping to grow the business and their role as specialists in surgical instrument design and manufacturing. The company’s reputation for high standards, as well as the First and Second World Wars, also contributed to the business’s success.

This is an example of a pattern book from the 1930s. By 1931, the company had over 100 employees and manufactured a huge range of surgical instruments to be exported globally. In the 1930s, Thackray’s not only traded in instruments and sundries but designed and manufactured them, adding hospital sterilizers, operating tables, theatre furniture and surgical implants to their repertoire. This book shows hand-drawn illustrations and specifications for each design as shown below.

Pattern Book from Chas F Thackray Ltd (1931-1935)
(Location: ‘Instrument Drawings’ on Rack F, Bay 3, Shelf 4 of the archive.)

This Surgical Instrument Pattern Book is one of the items in the collections preserved in the library at the Thackray Museum of Medicine .