Smellie-type obstetrical forceps

Made:
1701-1800 in England

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forceps, obstetrical, Smellie, metal with leather covering, probably English, 18th century

These are short obstetrical forceps, following the design of the Scottish surgeon William Smellie, (1697-1763), which he described in 1751. The forcep blades are designed with two curves, the cephalic curve to fit the child's head and the pelvic curve to correspond to the curve of the mother's pelvis. The blades fit together in deep notches known as the English Lock. This pair of forceps is made out of metal covered in leather and would not have been very easy to clean.

Details

Category:
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A500206
Materials:
leather and metal
type:
obstetrical forceps and forceps, obstetrical, obstetrics (instruments) smellie, obstetrical forceps and obstetrics (instruments)
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • obstetrical instrument
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust