Snow's face mask for chloroform anaesthesia

Snow's face mask for chloroform anaesthesia, English, c1870 Snow's face mask for chloroform anaesthesia (anaesthetic mask)

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Snow's face mask for chloroform anaesthesia, English, c1870
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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

Face mask for Snow-type chloroform anaesthesia, English, c1870

The design of the face mask has been attributed to Francis Sibson (1814-76) and early examples were made of sheet lead. This example is made from brass and lined with felt. It would have been used by patients to inhale vapours of chloroform to enter a state of unconsciousness before surgery.

John Snow (1813-1858) developed a chloroform inhaler that attached to this mask. Two canisters, one with cold water and another with chloroform to ensure a 4% mix of the anaesthetic vapour in air. Snow adminsitered anaesthetics to Queen Victoria during her births. He is also known for linking the use of a water pump in London with the spread of cholera.

Details

Category:
Anaesthesiology
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A625286
Materials:
face mask, brass and face mask, velvet
Measurements:
overall: 87 mm x 55 mm x 110 mm, .12kg
type:
anaesthetic mask