Magill's battery-lit laryngoscope, steel, nickel plated, by Down Bros. of London, early 20th century
A laryngoscope aids the passing of a tube into the larynx. Such instruments were devised in 1895 by Alfred Kirstein (1863-1922) of Berlin. Before this, the larynx could only be seen with the assistance of a mirror. This later example was devised by Sir Ivan Magill (1888-1986). It incorporates a battery operated lamp at the tip of the blade.
Magill was a pre-eminent figure in anaesthesiology during the 20th century. He was largely responsible for adopting new wide bore endotracheal tubes used for anaesthesia in the 1920s. The tubes and the laryngoscopes used to introduce them are substantially based on his designs. They are still used today.
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