Sucking Glass (From the Collection #28)

The Story For centuries, mothers have used a number of tools to relieve the pain of engorged breasts, correct inverted nipples, and increase milk production. Some of the first breast pumps were found at Greek archeological sites dating from the 6th to 5th centuries BCE. These dual purpose feeding bottles and breast pumps, called guttus, … More Sucking Glass (From the Collection #28)

Female Urinal (From the Collection #27)

The Story Found in homes and hospitals, bedpans and urinals are practical aids for bedridden persons who cannot get up to use a toilet.  Over time ‘male’ and ‘female’ designs evolved that increased a patient’s comfort and ease of use.  Until the mid-twentieth century, student nurses training in hospitals had the necessary, but unpleasant job … More Female Urinal (From the Collection #27)

Smallpox – A Short History of Vaccination (Part 2)

Janet Parker was the last person in the world to die from smallpox in 1978. She was working as a scientific photographer above one of the labs at Birmingham Medical School. The lab was working with smallpox and Parker contracted the disease on August 11th. She would die a month later.This event shook the world not only because the last smallpox case in the UK was 5 years prior, but because smallpox was on its way to being confined to the history books. … More Smallpox – A Short History of Vaccination (Part 2)

Carbolic Steam Sprayer (From the Collection #24)

The Story Lord Joseph Lister revolutionized surgery in the late 19th century by introducing antiseptic methods. These drastically reduced the incidence of infection and death, enabling the field of surgery to expand rapidly. In the 1860s, mortality rates for surgeries were at 45-50% due to infection. Rates of infection were especially high in trauma cases, … More Carbolic Steam Sprayer (From the Collection #24)

Pocket Sputum Flask (From the Collection #25)

The Story Throughout the 1800s, tuberculosis (also called phthisis, consumption, or TB) was a leading cause of death in the industrialised world. Treatments focused on bed rest, a nourishing diet, and fresh air. Canada’s first tuberculosis sanatorium opened in 1897 as a hospital where patients in the early stages of lung disease could rest and … More Pocket Sputum Flask (From the Collection #25)