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Fox's glass leech cupping set

https://mhc.andornot.com/en/permalink/artifact5498
Dates
1834
1878
circa 1827-1878
Collection
University Health Network - Academy of Medicine Collection
Category
Diagnostic & Treatment Artifacts
Classification
Treatment, General
Patient Care
Treatment
Accession Number
1950.4.1 a-h
Description
Rectangular mahogany case with blue velvet lining the interior (g) containing a 12-blade scarificator (c), clear glass bottle with stopper (f), cupping lamp (a,b), and two large cups (d, e). There is also a small round pad (h) with felt on one side and leather on the other with a small band of leat…
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Accession Number
1950.4.1 a-h
Collection
University Health Network - Academy of Medicine Collection
Category
Diagnostic & Treatment Artifacts
Classification
Treatment, General
Patient Care
Treatment
MeSH Heading
Bloodletting -- instrumentation
MM= Cupping -- set
Description
Rectangular mahogany case with blue velvet lining the interior (g) containing a 12-blade scarificator (c), clear glass bottle with stopper (f), cupping lamp (a,b), and two large cups (d, e). There is also a small round pad (h) with felt on one side and leather on the other with a small band of leather, presumably to place one's finger into.
Number Of Parts
8
Part Names
a) cupping lamp ring - Length 3.5 X Width 2.5
b) cupping lamp - Length 8.0 X Width 2.4
c) scarificator - Length 6.0 X Width 5.0 X Depth 6.5
d) glass cup - Length 14.0 X Width 7.5 X Depth 8.0
e) glass cup - Length 15.0 X Width 8.0 X Depth 7.5
f) glass bottle with stopper - Length 8.0 X Diameter 3.8
g) case - Length 26.5 cm x Width 15.0 cm x Depth 10.5 cm
h) leather and felt pad - Length 4.0 X Width 3.0 X Depth 1.5
Provenance
Acquired from the Academy of Medicine; donated by Dr. R. Howey of Owen Sound, Ont.; used by Dr. Allan Cameron, who practised in Owen Sound, Ont. from 1857 to 1912.
Maker
W. B. Hilliard
Site Made (City)
Glasgow
Site Made (Country)
Scotland
Dates
1834
1878
circa 1827-1878
Date Remarks
Date based on the maker's mark -- W. B. Hilliard was established in 1834, and after 1878, W. B. Hilliard became W. B. Hilliard & Sons
Material
wood: brown
velvet: blue
glass: clear
metal: gold
fabric: beige
leather: brown
Inscriptions
On the scarificator (c): "W. B. Hilliard / Glasgow"
Permanent Location
Storage Room 0010
0010-D6-7
Unit Of Measure
centimeters
Condition Remarks
Minor scratches on case (g), velvet fading, lamp (a, b) slightly scratched, small crack in glass in (e), and the glass bottle (f) is a bit dirty
Copy Type
original
Reference Types
Book
Journal
Website
Reference Comments
"Bloodletting Instruments," Davis & Appel, pp. 26-8; "Lancet," 1827 (12), pp. 238-9
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33102/33102-h/33102-h.htm#Page_48
The Lancet, vol. 10, iss. 257, pg 559-560, Aug. 02, 1828.
http://www.glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1888_Book/Hilliard_W_B_&_Sons.htm
Research Facts
Dr. Francis Fox was the house surgeon to the Derbyshire General Dispensary, and in 1827, announced his invention of "glass leeches", a new form of cupping cup with a wide, curved neck and oval belly that hung downwards. This shape imitated the natural shape and manner of hanging of a leech, and so Fox named his invention after them. Fox announced his invention in The Lancet, a prominent medical journal, and in the years after his announcement, continued to provide the journal with updates on how much better the glass leeches performed than regular cups. They made it less likely for the patient to be burned in the process of cupping as the flame was kept farther away from the skin, and the glass leech only needed to be applied twice after scarification instead of the common three times. Fox claimed that his glass leeches could be easily removed by an attendant so that the operator need not even be present. The glass leech could draw on average 7 and 3/4 ounces of blood in 16 minutes.
W. B. Hilliard was established in 1834, in Glasgow, Scotland; there were four different business addresses until about 1920. In 1878, it became W. B. Hilliard & Sons when Hilliard brought his two sons on as partners. Joseph B. Hilliard owned an instrument case which was carried by Dr. Livingstone, the explorer.
Cupping was popular in the 19th century; heated cups would be applied to bring blood up to the surface of the skin; lamps, syringes and / or stop-cocks were often included in cupping sets to help create a vacuum using heat. Often, a piece of lint and/or paper was lit on fire and placed in the cup. In dry cupping, the cup would be applied first and the blood drawn using the scarificator after the blood was brought to the surface. In wet cupping, blood was drawn first with the scarificator and then the cup was applied, so that the blood was drawn out by the vacuum and pooled in the cup.
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