Items Tagged ‘Torture or Technology?’


ACCESSION NUMBER: 1974.13.1 Object Name: McKenzie’s leucotome Manufacturer: Down Bros Date Made: 1940-1949 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Surgical Instruments Psychosurgery — instrumentation Neurosurgery — instrumentation Neurology — instrumentation ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION First undertaken in 1935 by Portuguese neuropsychiatrist Dr. Antonio … Continue reading


ACCESSION NUMBER: 007023010 Object Name: Braun’s cranioclast Manufacturer: S. Mawson & Thompson Date Made: 1890-1920 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Obstetrical Forceps Extraction, Obstetrical — instrumentation Obstetrics — instrumentation Fetal Death ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION Prior to the 1900s, complicated births, particularly … Continue reading

Von Graefe’s Cataract Knife

ACCESSION NUMBER: 1975.10.2D Object Name: Von Graefe’s Cataract Knife Manufacturer: Unknown Date Made: 1870-1900 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Ophthalmology  ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION Cataracts are an opacity of the eye’s crystalline lens, found behind the pupil.  This opacity stops rays of … Continue reading


ACCESSION NUMBER: 1935.3.1 Object Name: Urinometer Manufacturer: Unknown Date Made: 1800-1899 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Urinalysis Diabetes Mellitus ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION For several thousand years urine was a, if not the, primary body fluid used in medical diagnoses.  Physicians relied … Continue reading

Seton Needle

ACCESSION NUMBER: 1986.6.8 Object Name: Seton Needle Manufacturer: Unknown Date Made: 1830-1870 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Needles-Suture techniques ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION Seton needles first became popular in the 15th century as a means of producing counter-irritation.  This approach to medical … Continue reading

Hey’s Saw

ACCESSION NUMBER: 997001102 Object Name: Hey’s Saw Manufacturer: unknown Date Made: circa 1860 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Trephining — trephine; Trephining – instrumentation; Neurosurgery — instrumentation ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION Trepanning, also known as trephining, dates back at least 7000 years to the … Continue reading


ACCESSION NUMBER: 1930.5.1 Object Name: Lebenswecker Manufacturer: unknown Date Made: 1870-1899 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Irritants; Quackery ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION Carl Baunscheidt (1809-1873), a German mechanic and inventor, first produced the lebenswecker in 1848.  Translated most directly as “life awakener”, … Continue reading

Carbolic Steam Sprayer

ACCESSION NUMBER: 1934.12.3 a-c Object Name: Carbolic Steam Sprayer Manufacturer: Mayer & Meltzer Date Made: circa 1870 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Antisepsis; Surgical Instruments ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION Lord Joseph Lister revolutionized surgery in the late 19th century by introducing antiseptic methods.  … Continue reading

Heart and lung machine

ACCESSION NUMBER: 997.030.001A-B Object Name: Heart and lung machine Manufacturer: New Electronic Products Limited Date Made: 1958 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Oxygenators; Heart, Mechanical; Cardiopulmonary Bypass — instrumentation ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION The creation of a functional heart and lung bypass … Continue reading

Stomach pump and enema

ACCESSION NUMBER: 1976.6.44 Object Name: Stomach pump and enema Manufacturer: W. & H. Hutchinson Date Made: 1841-1859 MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Suction; Irrigation; Gastroenterology — instrumentation; Suction and Drainage — stomach pump ARTEFACT DESCRIPTION For thousands of years, humans … Continue reading