Midwifery bag, United Kingdom, 1866-1900

1866-1900 in United Kingdom
Arnold and Sons

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Midwifery bag, contents & bag. Full view, case open with some instruments alongside. Graduated matt black perspex
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Leather midwifery bag with handle and contents. Contents include 3 metal forecepts, 1 hook, 7 glass bottles, and other assorted tools. There are 5 square glass bottles with glass stoppers for opium tincture, brandy, ergot, and SP:AM:CO (spirit of ammonia) , now all empty. There are an additional 2 round glass bottles for chloroform and ether, which are clean. Made by Arnold and Sons, English, 1866-1900.

Destructive and non-destructive instruments are contained in this leather bag. It belonged to a male midwife. The tools were used during childbirth. The obstetric forceps were standard delivery tools. Others, such as the perforators, were destructive. Also in the bag are apparatus for anaesthesia and seven glass jars containing medication. These included chloroform and brandy. The obstetrician may have also carried opium and ergotamine. Opium relieved pain and ergotamine stopped the bleeding.


Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), cotton (textile), elastic, glass, leather, mahogany (wood), metal, paint, steel (metal), wood
overall (as displayed): 265 mm x 395 mm x 340 mm,
midwifery bag

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