Mackenzie-type double tonsil guillotine, London, England, 1869-1900

1869-1900 in London
Mayer and Meltzer

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

MacKenzie's double tonsil guillotine, metal and wood, by Mayer and Meltzer of London, 1869 to 1900

Tonsillectomy by guillotine was a standard treatment in the late 1800s for those who experienced recurring throat infections. This type of tonsil guillotine was invented by Morell Mackenzie (1837-92), a physician and laryngologist. The double guillotine meant both tonsils could be removed at the same time. In 1884, the instrument was described in his book 'A Manual of Disease of the Throat and Nose'. Tonsillectomy by guillotine fell out of favour in the early 1900s due to the high numbers of people who suffered haemorrhaging and recurrent sore throats. Parts of the tonsils would also be left behind. This example was made by Mayer & Meltzer, a surgical instrument maker based in London.

Related people


Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete, steel (metal) and wood (unidentified)
tonsil guillotine
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • surgical equipment
  • surgical instrument

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.