Clear glass shop round for Ether, England, 1801-1900
Made from clear glass, the label “SP: AETHER” etched into the side is abbreviated Latin for “Spirit of ether”. Ether was first used as an anaesthetic in 1842 and grew in popularity as it was a more effective anaesthetic than contemporary alternatives such as nitrous oxide. Vapours of ether were inhaled from a face mask or an ether-soaked sponge in an inhaler. This shop round may have been owned by London-based chemists and druggists Savory and Moore (active 1794-1992).
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Glossary: shop round
An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).
A device for breathing in a drug in order to deliver it to the airways or lungs.
A volatile liquid (resulting from the action of sulphuric acid upon alcohol) formerly used as an anaesthetic. Ether was usually inhaled.