Up in Smoke

Seven thin glass jars with gold-colored lids each hold a round white filter pad stained with brown residue. 

Medical artifacts offer a fascinating window into history. The filter pads shown here were used in a smoking machine designed to absorb gases and collect smoke particles from lit cigarettes. Although physicians had long suspected a link between smoking and cancer, it wasn’t until the 1960s that research helped prove cigarettes can be deadly. Read more about what medical artifacts reveal about the long and winding march of scientific progress.