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Hypodermic syringe set, Berlin, Germany, 1910-1914

The hypodermic syringe was used to give injections of quinine hydrochloride into the body. Quinine is used as an anti-malaria treatment and can also be given in tablet form. The kit contains a hypodermic syringe, paraffin-coated needles – to protect the needles during transportation – and twenty tablets and test tubes to make up solutions for injection. Sold by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co, the kit would have been used by those traveling to areas where malaria was common, such as Africa.

Object number:

A56878

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    Glossary: hypodermic syringe

    A syringe is a simple piston pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube. The plunger can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube (the barrel), allowing the syringe to take in and expel a liquid or gas through an orifice at the open end of the tube. In modern medicine, a syringe is often fitted with a hypodermic needle to create a hypodermic syringe which is most commonly used for injecting materials directly into the bloodstream.

    Glossary: malaria

    Parasitic disease transmitted by certain kinds of mosquito. Malaria is characterized by fever and enlargement of the spleen. Each year, there are approximately 515 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people.

    Glossary: quinine

    A substance taken to fight malaria. Quinine is found naturally in the bark of the cinchona tree. It is also an ingredient in tonic water.