Midwifery bag and steriliser, London, England, 1940-1948

Made:
1940-1948 in Westminster

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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

Combined box-type metal midwifery bag and sterilizer with some contents, made by W.H. Bailey and Son, 45 Oxford Street, London, 1940-1948.

Bags such as this were taken by midwives when assisting with home births during the 1940s. This example was last used in 1948. It folds open to reveal an inner canvas bag containing medications, dressings, instruments and a measuring glass. Integral to the set is a metal steriliser in which instruments can be sterilised in boiling water.

Also present are birth registration forms for Hertfordshire County Council. These required the midwife to register whether infants were born dead or alive and declare if they were illegitimate. Legitimacy questions are not included now. This reflects attitude changes since the 1940s about children born outside of marriage.

Details

Category:
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
1982-561/80
Materials:
cloth, glass, metal, steel
type:
midwifery bag
credit:
Mirrielees, Esther
status:
Permanent collection

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