Obstetrical instrument set, United Kingdom, 1871-1900

Made:
1871-1900 in England
maker:
Elliott
,
J W Wood
and
Weiss, John

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

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

Obstetric instrument set, in leather roll, British, late 19th century

Tools in this obstetrical surgical instrument set include three sets of forceps for gripping the baby’s head and a vectis. A vectis was a levering instrument used to ease the head out. There are also destructive tools for removing a dead and obstructed foetus. A perforator pierced the child’s skull; two hooked instruments called crochets were inserted into the mother’s birth canal and hooked onto part of the child; and a pair of craniotomy forceps was a heavy toothed or ridged crushing instrument for breaking up the skull bones of a foetus.

Devices and tools were used for different applications depending on the circumstance. An obstetric physician, or male midwife, was not normally present in routine births in the 1800s. However, he was called to assist if complications arose.

Details

Category:
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
A651838
Materials:
leather, steel and wood
Measurements:
overall (unrolled): 55 mm x 495 mm x 695 mm, 2.42 kg
type:
obstetric instrument set

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