Blandford forcible feeding tube used at St Thomas's hospital, London, by Down Bros., English
Invalids and people who were mentally ill may refuse food or have difficulty swallowing. This feeding tube administered food to them. It was invented by Dr Henry Edmund Blandford in 1866. The instrument was inserted into the mouth and twisted so the cross bars held the mouth open. Attendants then poured liquid food down the throat of the patient. Dr Blandford suggested it could also be used in cases of tetanus and ‘surgical afflictions of the jaw’ or where feeding though the nose was not possible.
Such instruments could theoretically have been forcibly used on those on hunger strikes, such as those undertaken by imprisoned suffragettes in the Edwardian period. This feeding tube was made by instrument maker Down Brothers of London.