Blandford forcible feeding tube, London, England, 1920-1930

Made:
1920-1930 in London
maker:
Down Brothers
Blandford forcible feeding tube, by Down Bros., English.
      Full view, blue perspex background.

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Blandford forcible feeding tube, by Down Bros., English. Full view, blue perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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.

Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A600286
type:
feeding tube
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Down Brothers