Lister-type carbolic steam spray, England, 1869-1890

Made:
1869-1890 in England
maker:
Unknown

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

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

Lister phenol spray, copper tank standing on brass frame, large wooden handle at side, two outlets for tubes, (missing), English, 1869-1890

Joseph Lister (1827-1912) invented the carbolic acid spray in the belief that most infection-causing germs were in the air. The steam spray covered everyone and everything in the operating room or hospital ward with a vapour of carbolic acid or phenol, creating an antiseptic environment. The steam spray meant that an assistant was not required to work a cumbersome pump. Lister eventually abandoned the spray in 1887 as he found that germs carried on fingers, dressings, and the skin of the patient were more important. The spray came with its own disadvantages as inhaling carbolic acid is dangerous.

Related people

Details

Category:
Surgery
Object Number:
A659648
Materials:
brass, copper, wood, handle
type:
carbolic spray
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.