Blue glass eye bath, Europe, 1851-1920

1851-1920 in Europe

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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, blue, with stem, blown, European, 1851-1920

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 and this example was made by glass blowing. It is pictured here with a green example (A606649).

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Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Object Number:
eye bath
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle

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