Embossed angular item with a glass tube running down the left side, on a smoky red background


early anaesthesia inhaler

Anaesthetic inhaler


Leather, glass, brass, tortoiseshell


Surgeon John H Morgan (1847–1924) introduced this tapered shape for anaesthetic  inhalers in the 1880s. A sponge soaked in ether was inserted at the narrow end, and the glass phial at the bottom probably measured the concentration of the drug. This improved the surgeon’s control of the anaesthetic dosage.

View catalogue entry for anaesthetic inhaler

Part of the exhibition Unfamiliar.

Explore further: