Medical Instruments in the Archives: What is it?

Welcome to the fifth week of Medical Instrument Monday from the Archives and Special Collections Twitter page!

This week’s question: What is this item?


Answer: It’s an anesthesia mask!

Over the last two centuries, many different gasses and drugs have been used for anesthesia, including ether, nitrous oxide, chloroform, cocaine, morphine, and heroin. The use of anesthesia equipment, specifically inhalers or masks, dates back to 1846. In the following years face masks became more and more prevalent, with the ether inhaler manufactured by Attlee & Co. in 1847, a simple chloroform mask invented by Simpson, and the use of the Clover face mask in 1868, among others.


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