Obstetrical forceps, Norway, 1801-1900

1872-3 in Norway
Forceps, obstetrical, steel and wood, Norwegian, 19th century

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Forceps, obstetrical, steel and wood, Norwegian, 19th century
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Sandborg-Vedeler’s forceps, obstetrical, steel and wood, Norwegian, 1872-3.

These forceps are attributed as Sandborg-Vedeler’s designs, produced around 1872-3 and presented by Vedeler in The Norweigan Medical Society in 1874.

Obstetrical forceps grip and help rotate the baby’s head during difficult labour. The curved blades of the forceps fit the curve of the head as well as the mother’s birth canal. Obstetrical forceps were originally the preserve of a few secret individuals. They were introduced to the public in the early 1700s, with many variations finding widespread use. This pair is made from steel, with the handle shaped for the physician’s hand. The forceps were bought from a private collector in Oslo, Norway in September 1929.