Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851

Made:
1801-1851 in Europe
Spring fleam, cased. Black perspex back background. Group shot of A643317, Tin-glazed earthenware albarello, complete with parchment lid, blue and yellow decoration, Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851 Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851 Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851

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Spring fleam, cased. Black perspex back background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Group shot of A643317, Tin-glazed earthenware albarello, complete with parchment lid, blue and yellow decoration,
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Automatic lancet, cased, Europe, 1801-1851
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Spring fleam, cased or automatic lancet

Lancets were used in bloodletting, a practice once carried out to treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. This type of lancet works by the blade being swiftly released to cut into a vein by means of an automatic spring mechanism. Much depended on the skill and experience of the operator in determining the depth of the cut.

The main body of the lancet is made of brass, but the double-sided blade is made of a stronger, finer metal. It is likely that this lancet would have been used on a number of patients without any effective form of sterilisation.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A116036
Materials:
blade, steel, body, brass, body, steel, case, brass and case, leather
type:
automatic lancet
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • lancets
credit:
Moos, S.