Green glass eye bath, Europe, 1801-1900

Made:
1801-1900 in Europe
maker:
Unknown
A627016, Glass eye bath, blue, with stem, blown, European, 1851-1920. A606649, Glass eye bath, green with reservoir,

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A627016, Glass eye bath, blue, with stem, blown, European, 1851-1920. A606649, Glass eye bath, green with reservoir,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Glass eye bath, green with reservoir, moulded

Eyebaths are a means of applying a liquid medicine or a simple wash to a notoriously sensitive part of the body. Once the ceramic bowl was filled with a liquid, the patient would place the bath over the eye, tilt their head back and open and close the eye repeatedly in the liquid. The bowl is curved to fit the socket of the eye and avoid spillage and such treatment may have been needed for an infection or to remove an irritation.

Most eyebaths were made from green or blue glass. Made by moulding, the green glass eyebath is a rare surviving example of one with a reservoir for water. It is pictured here with a more typically shaped blue example (A627016).

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Object Number:
A606649
type:
eye bath
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle