Hypodermic syringe with glass phials of drugs

1885-1910 in United States
Parke, Davis and Company Inc.

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Hypodermic syringe, glass and nickel plated brass, in aluminium case with velvet purse, containing 6 glass phials of hypodermic tablets. 84 mm x 43 mm x 20 mm, .08kg. Phials: 76 mm x 5 mm diameter each. Phials of strychnine nitrate, atropine sulphate, cocaine hydrochloride, apomorphine hydrochloride, morphine and atropine sulphate and morphine sulphate hypodermic tablets. Made by Parke, Davis and Co., USA, 1885-1910, once the property of F. Treves, FRCS.

The hypodermic syringe set once belonged to Sir Frederick Treves (1853-1923), a surgeon who specialised in abdominal surgery and who supported a then-new operation to treat appendicitis, which is still used today. Treves is perhaps best known as the physician who treated Joseph Merrick (1862-90), the so-called ‘Elephant Man’.

Hypodermic syringes were and are used to deliver medical treatments under the skin. The aluminium case contains two needles and a range of anaesthetics in tablet form that would be crushed and diluted before being injected. The syringe and drugs were made by Parke, Davis and Co.

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Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Object Number:
aluminium, apomorphine, atropine, brass (nickel plated), complete, glass, morphine sulphate, strychnine and velvet
phial: 76 mm 5 mm,
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • drug delivery device
Wellcome Trust

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