Florence the Woman

Florence Nightingale’s Lamp, 19th century

Display No. 94

This Turkish lantern, or ‘fanoos’, was used in Scutari during the Crimean War. It is understood to have been carried by Florence on her nightly rounds of the wards.

The image of her holding such a lamp gave rise to the legend ‘The Lady with the Lamp’: a guardian angel of the troops. Artists often mistakenly showed her holding a Greek or “genie” lamp instead, which only added to the sentimental image.

Look out for other examples of incorrect portrayals of her lamp.

Florence Nightingale’s Lamp. Florence Nightingale Museum Collection

Exhibits from ‘Florence the Woman’

Discover the 200 Exhibits

Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!