Located just off of Linden Lane in Silver Spring, Maryland lies the National Museum of Health and Medicine, founded in 1862, the museum houses items ranging from the skeletons of children to a few skull fragments belonging to Abraham Lincoln that were collected shortly after his death.
Yes, here at this little known place, visitors can examine some of the 16th president’s remains. That was the main draw for Tony Alves and his family.
“It’s really quite fascinating to see something like that on display. I mean, we often hear about the mystique of Lincoln and the civil war era in general, but rarely do we get to see it up close,” Alves said.
For some, the attraction of note was a series of painted masks made by veterans recovering from injuries sustained on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“They’re beautiful; I don’t know what else to say about them other than that. To see someone who is so scarred yet still able to make something that brings delight to other people. It’s amazing,” Bethesda resident Karmen Harada said.
In other rooms of the building, visitors can stare at preserved twins in a jar, swollen limbs affected with elephantiasis, and even the floor from an army field hospital in Iraq. It’s this piece that is the primary favorite of National Institute of Health student Stephen Brooks.
“I’ve got some friends who served and unfortunately I wasn’t sent over due to some health problems at the time. But you know, seeing that, it bonds me to them in a way. Makes me feel like I was there with them,” Brooks said.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Below you can find the Snapchat video I made to supplement this piece. I find I want to experiment more with mobile reporting like this.