Ether inhaler with water bath

Made:
1847-1855 in Europe

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

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

Ether inhaler with water bath for heating ether to facilitate evaporation, European, c. 1847

Ether was first used as an anaesthetic during an operation in 1846 to remove a tooth. This inhaler has a water bath underneath the bottle which heats up the liquid ether to help its evaporation and so produce vapours. The temperature of the water bath controlled how much ether was vaporised and the dose the patient received. The rubber tubing connects the bottle to the wooden face mask. The face mask has a mouthpiece for the patient to bite down on. John Snow (1813-1858), the first specialised anaesthetist in the United Kingdom, invented this type of inhaler in 1847.

Details

Category:
Anaesthesiology
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A625393
Materials:
brass, cloth, metal, pewter, rubber and wood
type:
inhaler
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Royal Society of Medicine