Richardson-type spray, United Kingdom, 1866-1884

Made:
1866-1884 in United Kingdom
maker:
Unknown
Richardson's antiseptic spray. View of whole object on black background

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Richardson's antiseptic spray. View of whole object on black background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Richardson's ether spray

The Richardson spray was originally used to spray ether to give a local anaesthetic, especially during tooth extraction. The spray is named after its inventor, Benjamin Ward Richardson (1828-1896). He invented the spray in 1866. The air is pushed through using the hand pump, which forces the liquid ether out of the nozzle. Joseph Lister (1827-1912) later adapted this spray for use in antisepsis. It is believed that this is the only surviving spray of this type.