Bloodletting : A Cure or a Curse
Object ID Number:
eh10 r27
Object Name:
Date of Manufacture:
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Manufactured from:
Manufactured to:
Description / History:
Large wooden bloodletting kit containing 13 blown glass cups, one brass scarificator in a black leather case, one glyco-thymoline glass bottle, one sponge, multiple pieces of lambs' wool and metalic pieces, a small tin container full of some sort of balm, and a series of newspaper clippings.
Bleeding cups were used in one of two ways; they were either used to simply expand the blood vessels thereby creating a blood filled blister, or were used to expand the blood vessels in order to then cut the blister with a scarificator and let the blood bleed out. Doctors either heated the inside or the outside of the cups to create pressure that induces suction.
Glyco-thymoline was first developed as a treatment for a sore throat and oral hygiene in 1890 by Samuel Owens and Oscar Kress. It is commonly used today as mouth wash. The glass glyco-thymoline bottle in the kit does not seem to be a part of the original kit, suggesting the kit may be slightly older.
The newspaper clippings seem to be saved without much of a pattern, although they all seem to be from the same paper. One clipping has the date "1888" printed on it. This date, along with the presence of a glyco-thymoline bottle, strongly suggests this kit was owned in the late 1800s, and could have been produced around then as well.
H-2 W-1.75 D-1.5 inches
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