Tag: Melbourne

  • Operation Caroline and the bomb that shook South Yarra

    At 2.16 am on 23 November 1986, a car bomb exploded at 44 Caroline Street in Melbourne, outside the Turkish consulate in South Yarra. Because it was the middle of the night, the only person injured was the bomber himself – he died, blown to pieces by his own bomb, which wasn’t part of the […]

  • A bold remedy for apparently hopeless cases

    There was one more discovery at Melbourne’s Medical History Museum that delighted me even more than Champagne Jimmy, though I know that’s hard to believe. Allow me to introduce you to the ‘colonial snakebite kit’. Actually that’s a few different kits. There were many treatments for snakebite in 19th-century Australia, the museum signage explains, including […]

  • Melbourne’s most terrifying attraction

    When I visited the Medical History Museum at the University of Melbourne, the last thing I expected to find was Champagne Jimmy. I expected to find Dr Tracy’s ovariotomy instruments. Well, not his specifically, but something very much like them. Dr Richard Tracy performed the first such surgery in Victoria in 1864, using this horrifying […]

  • Looking to buy mermaids in Melbourne?

    Walking through the Melbourne CBD, I passed a shopfront that had a plastic (I assume) skeleton posed inside one of the glass doors. The skeleton peered out, with its hand on the handle, like it was about to stroll onto the street. The shop billed itself as a purveyor of “scientific curiosities”. I went in […]

  • Pose with my grave and skeleton

    Before visiting Melbourne in September, I read Sophie Cunningham’s Melbourne. It’s one of the City Series from NewSouth, ‘travel books where no-one leaves home’. I’ve spent several years working my way around Australia while reading my way through this series. Melbourne has been my favourite yet. There’s a moment in the book where Cunningham is learning letterpress at […]