Probang, canvas and plastic shaft, section of hair, sponge tip, second half 19th century
Probangs removed food morsels sticking in the gullet and causing choking. They are used in surgical procedures. However, they also became standard equipment in the dining halls of Victorian asylums.
This example has a flexible stem covered in a plastic material. A sponge tip is at one end. The head of the probang opens out once inserted in the throat. This hopefully traps any obstructions within the fine fibres. The instrument is then withdrawn.
- Object Number:
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- medical instrument
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
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