Saturday, October 27, 2018

Souvenir Saturday: Medieval Medical Instruments

A collection of medieval medical Instruments tends to induce gratitude that there has been
progress in medical science in the intervening centuries.

John of Gaddesden, the priest/physician on whom Chaucer based the doctor character in The Canterbury Tales, would have been familiar with the implements above.


From back left clockwise.........

Wooden goblet with candles (for enticing the tooth worm out of tooth with
the lighted candle, worm then falls into water and drowns)
Assorted bowls and jug, would contain egg white for stemming bleeding, wool
for plasters, horse hair for stitching, red wine for fortification after
bleeding…all sorts of items in this group
Mortar and pestle
Arrow head extractor (and arrow)
Wooden jar for mustard seed (emetic)
Urine flask, for taking the p.... (well, you get the idea)
Salt in glass bottle, vinegar in same. Wooden jars for herbs.
Two glass vessels for bleeding and cupping.
Tray to contain instruments.
Enema syringe with bag.
Scissors and soap (don't forget I'm a barber as well)
Two steel probes (can be used as elevators for dental work)
Long forceps.
Capital knife (amputation)
Two pairs ordinary forceps.
Two retractors (for holding open wounds)
Trepan (you need this like a hole in the head)
Chisel and mallett (finger/toe amputations)
Saw (arm/leg/head amputations)
Nippers (tip of finger and toe amputations)

Photo and list of instruments courtesy of Roger Morgan in Wales.

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