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Glossary

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A

  • anti-malarial drug

    Drugs that are taken to prevent or cure malaria. Treatments can be preventative, or as therapy to cure malarial infection.

  • anti-masturbation device

    A device worn to prevent masturbation, which was thought to be bad for one's health. Often referred to as a ‘chastity belt’.

  • antimony cup

    Cup made of antimony

  • anti-mosquito hood

    A hood used to protect the wearer from flies and mosquitoes.

  • anti-semitic

    Discrimination and prejudice against Jewish people. Its most extreme form was found in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s with the Holocaust.

  • antisepsis

    The practice of using antiseptic drugs to eliminate harmful micro-organisms.

  • antiseptic

    A chemical that destroys or holds back the growth of bacteria and harmful micro-organisms. It can be used to cleanse skin wounds and treat some internal infections if it is sufficiently non-toxic.

  • antiseptic machine

    machine used to make the atmosphere antispetic

  • antitoxin

    An antibody, a type of protein, which is produced to counter-act any bacterial toxins present in the body. It combines with toxins (antigens) in the blood and neutralises them.

  • apothecary

    A term used until about 1800 to describe someone who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes. Today the term ‘pharmacist’ or ‘pharmaceutical chemist’ is used instead.

  • apprenticeship

    An agreement where a person learns a trade from a skilled worker over a fixed period of time.

  • apron

    Garments worn over main garments for protection and sometimes ornamentation. Usually cover the front of the body and tie at the waist with strings, but may have a bib or shoulder straps. There are specialist types such as those containing lead to give radiological protection.

  • aquatint

    prints produced where resin or other substance is applied to a plate to make a porous ground, and the plate is then heated and etched, producing a range of tonal value; often combined with line work

  • aquatints

    Prints produced by the aquatint process.

  • arithmometer

    An early mechanical calculator, invented around 1820, the first to be commercially sold and distributed.

  • arm

    The limb of the human body which extends from the shoulder to the hand

  • armrest

    A support for the arm.

  • arnica

    A flower that is a member of the Daisy family. It is found in areas of the Northern Hemisphere and was used to treat bruises.

  • artemisia

    A large group of plants. Many of the individual species have been used for medicinal purposes. Dried artemisia, known as moxa, is a key element in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Recently, artemisia-based drugs have been used to treat malaria.

  • artery

    A muscular tube carrying oxygenated blood away from the heart to all parts of the body.

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