Padgett-Hood-type dermatome, England, 1978-1980

1978-1980 in Surrey and Mitcham
Downs Surgical Limited

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Padgett-Hood's dermatome, steel, made by Down, Mitcham, Surrey, 1978-1980

The dermatome was an important new tool as it enabled surgeons to remove skin quickly and easily for grafting to treat burns victims. Often referred to as plastic surgery, these techniques were greatly advanced during the twentieth century, especially during and after the Second World War.

Used in skin-grafting to remove varying thickness of skin, the drum handle was held in the left hand and the knife handle was held in the right. The drum, coated with rubber, would be placed on the skin and the knife moved from side to side as the drum rotated. Skin removed from the top and middle layers sticks to the rubber coating and can then be grafted on to the damaged areas.

The instrument was created in 1939 and is named after its inventors, Earl Padgett (1893-1946), a plastic surgeon, and George Hood, a mechanical engineer.

Related people


Object Number:
Downs Surgical
Permanent collection

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.