Medical Equipment

Preview This is an image of a trephine exhibited at the first London International Exposition of 1851. Trephination and amputation operations had been known for a long time, with the model of a trephine already existing in around the 13th century. Exhibited at the international event was one with improvements of its heavy weight and susceptibility to clogging.

Medicine in General

Microscopes and clinical thermometers invented between the end of the 16th century and the 17th century greatly advanced the history of medical equipment. In the 19th century, thanks to the progress of medicine, the survival ratio of human beings was increasing. The invention of stethoscopes enabled doctors to check the heartbeats of their patients, while the development of anesthesia enhanced the safety level of surgeries.

New medical inventions exhibited at the first London International Exposition of 1851 included bloodletting instruments and artificial legs, hands, teeth and noses, as well as laryngoscopes and various cutting instruments. Artificial legs and hands were developed for soldiers who had lost their legs or hands in war.

It is said that the first use of electricity in the field of medicine was in Germany in 1743. In 1832, E. M. Clarke invented an electromagnetic machine, the forerunner of medical galvanic machines. In 1838, C. G. Page invented a medical dynamo, followed by the creation of many medical galvanic machines by W. H. Halse from 1855 to 1880. Medical dynamos and transformers were exhibited at the Philadelphia International Exposition of 1876 and the Chicago International Exposition of 1893.

In 1895, W. K. Röntgen, a German physicist, discovered the X-ray, enabling the photographing of the inside of a human body. This discovery significantly contributed to the subsequent development of medical equipment. X-ray imaging devices were exhibited at the fifth Paris International Exposition of 1900.

Dental Medicine

Dental treatment, such as tooth extraction and rudimentary removal of dental calculus, had been conducted for centuries. However, many such treatments were provided by barbers and blacksmiths. It was not until the 18th century that the dentistry was established as an independent branch of medicine. In the 19th century, delicate instruments began to be produced, remarkably spurring treatment innovations.

Sets of dental instruments, such as tooth extractors, were exhibited at the first London International Exposition of 1851. As for dental drills, hand-operated bow drills were mainly used at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1829, J. Nasmyth developed a drill with a tube and coiled spiral wire, which was further improved by C. Merry and others. In 1868, G. Green, an engineer from the United States, invented a pneumatic dental drill, followed by the development of a foot-powered dental engine by J. B. Morrison in 1871. At the Philadelphia International Exposition of 1876, an improved version of a foot-powered dental engine with reduced damage to teeth was exhibited. It was around this time that the first electrical dental engine was devised. However, such an engine was not widely used until the realization of further improvements and the general prevalence of electricity.

At the Chicago International Exposition of 1893, a dental treatment table with a power source from a 500-volt trolley wire was exhibited, emphasizing the absence of risk for doctors and patients.

Dental Treatment Drill Made by S. S. White

Medical Equipment (14 images)

Artificial Hands Preview Electrical Hammer for Medical Use Invented by W. G. A. Bonwill Preview Medical Dynamo Preview
Artificial Hands Electrical Hammer for Medical Use Invented by W. G. A. Bonwill Medical Dynamo

Medical Equipment Thumbnails


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