Enema syringe, Europe, 1801-1900

1801-1900 in Europe

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Enema syringe in ebony, with piston action. side view, light grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Enema syringe in ebony, with piston action

Enema syringes vary in shape and material but they are all intended to introduce liquids such as medications or purgatives into the body via the rectum – a once very common medical procedure. This example appears to be metallic, but is actually made from the hardwood ebony, a choice of material that had some hygiene implications given the nature of this instrument.

In terms of administering therapeutic medicines, enema syringes were widely used until the mid 1850s, after which the hypodermic syringe increasingly became the drug-delivery system of choice.


Object Number:
enema syringe
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • enema equipment

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