Our dialysis museum gets noticed — nationally

Our dialysis museum, which showcases photos, artifacts and machines used throughout the last 60 years, was recently included on a list of the weirdest museums in the United States. The museum, which opened in 2012 and is located in Seattle, made the list with some very odd museums indeed — among them, New Mexico’s UFO museum and the barbed wire Museum in Kansas.


Notable artifacts

Among the 15 machines in our museum is the Mini Monster, a machine created at University of Washington for the world’s first home dialysis patient. Also on display? The original Scribner Shunt, the device Dr. Belding Scribner and colleagues created in 1960 at the University of Washington to make long-term dialysis possible. Before that, a kidney failure diagnosis meant certain death.

You’ll also find a 22-foot timeline of major events in Northwest Kidney Centers’ history, a video about the early days, and photos of patients and influencers who helped shape Northwest Kidney Centers into what it is today — a nonprofit with nearly 600 staff members committed to providing excellent patient care, educating the public about kidney health and conducting life-changing research.

A 22-foot timeline spans an entire wall in the museum.



Trivia time! Test your knowledge, dialysis history buffs.

Seattle’s first dialysis machines were manufactured by a local company back in the 1960s. What other notable item did the manufacturer make?

  1. Parts for airplanes
  2. Ice cream machines
  3. Steam engine parts
  4. Bridges


Eli Friedman and James T. Hutchisson developed a machine in New York in 1976, a machine that allowed kidney patients to travel. Northwest Kidney Centers’ patients were the first outside New York to use it. What was it?

  1. On-the-go kidney
  2. Suitcase kidney
  3. Mobile kidney
  4. Transportable kidney


Used in the 1960s, this machine includes a 40-liter bottle that was sterilized and filled with dialysate at the hospital, then delivered to the patient’s home. For each treatment, a physician made a house call to make a puncture for dialysis access. What was the machine?

  1. Boen home peritoneal dialysis cycler
  2. Kolff-Brigham rotating drum kidney
  3. Drake-Willock dialysis machine


Think you’ve got the answers? Check them – by scanning through our museum page on this website.


Take a tour

We started in 1962 with one dialysis center with three beds. Today, we have 15 dialysis centers and more than 1,500 dialysis patients in centers, hospitals and at home. Unfortunately, the need for dialysis has grown. The good news? We have smaller, more portable machines and are working every day to develop better treatments and technology.

Call 206-292-2771 to make an appointment to tour the museum (it’s free!), and see for yourself the journey dialysis has made in the last 60 years.

tour of dialysis museum
Northwest Kidney Centers’ president and CEO Joyce Jackson shows visitors some of the machines in the museum.
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