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Electrical bronchitis kettle, England, 1945-1960

Used in the treatment of bronchitis, the steam produced by the electric kettle helped the patient to breathe. Similar treatments were used for other ailments, such as whooping cough. Menthol could be added to the water in the kettle to relieve congestion in the nose and chest and also assist with pain relief. The long spout of the kettle makes it ideal for this purpose. This kettle was made by Allen & Hanbury, but a bronchitis kettle could be improvised at home by lengthening the spout of a standard kettle with a tube of brown paper.

Object number:

1988-579

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Glossary:

Glossary: bronchitis kettle

Instrument used in the treatment of bronchitis.The kettle was filled with water then maybe a drug such as menthol (mint oil) was added. Using a small spirit lamp the kettle was heated. Steam came out of a long spout. The patient inhaled the steam which helped make eased the process of breathing.

Glossary: bronchitis

Inflammation of one or more bronchi (one of the larger air passages in the lungs), usually a result of infection. It is characterized by intense coughing.