Spare Parts


How did an architect help pioneer blood transfusion in the 1660s? Why did eighteenth-century dentists buy the live teeth of poor children? And what role did a sausage skin and an enamel bath play in making kidney transplants a reality? We think of transplant surgery as one of the medical wonders of the modern world but transplant surgery is as ancient as the pyramids, with a history more surprising than we might expect. Paul Craddock takes us on a journey – from sixteenth-century skin grafting to contemporary stem cell transplants – uncovering stories of operations performed by unexpected people in unexpected places.

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