The Timeless Artistry of the Syringe

Illustration for article titled The Timeless Artistry of the Syringe

This medicine case, which dates back to the early twentieth century, is packed with drugs and poisons. Also, a syringe. Though medical technology may have changed tremendously over the past 100 years, some equipment remains essentially the same. Such is the case with syringes, as you can see in the online exhibits of the British Columbia Medical Museum. We've got more weird old medicine delivery systems for you below. Both of these syringe kits are models used in the late-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. I just got my flu shot, and syringes really aren't all that much different now. Except they're disposable.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Timeless Artistry of the Syringe
Illustration for article titled The Timeless Artistry of the Syringe
Advertisement

This label comes from an emergency injection kit (with syringe of course). Each label was for one of the glass containers for "emergencies" like needing to get hopped up on caffeine, chilled out on morphine, or strung out on ether. So many excellent choices.

Illustration for article titled The Timeless Artistry of the Syringe

You can see all this and much more (including weird crap like circumcision instruments) at the British Columbia Medical Museum. British Columbia Medical Museum [Gallery]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Interesting old pharmacopeia. I googled sparteine and ergotine. Ergotine, as you might expect, is an alkaloid derived from ergot. Not a hallucinogen but rather used to induce contractions of the uterus. Sparteine, an alkaloid derived from scotch broom, is an antiarrhytmic agent, a sodium channel blocker. It isn't FDA approved for this use.