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'The Palmer Injector', Glasgow, Scotland, 1955-1970

Charles Palmer, a diabetic, invented this device in 1955 to make self-administered insulin injections easier. People with diabetes need regular insulin injections to normalise their blood sugar levels. In Palmer’s device, the syringe is attached to the gun-shaped steel handle, which can be used in either hand, and applied to any part of the body. ‘The Palmer Injector’ was also used to give diphtheria vaccinations and injections of the antibiotic penicillin.

Object number:

1999-761

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    Glossary: penicillin

    The first antibiotic drug to treat infections which is made from the mould penicillium. Its discovery is attributed to Alexander Fleming in 1928.

    Glossary: vaccination

    The introduction of vaccine into the body for the purpose of inducing immunity. Coined originally to apply to the injection of smallpox vaccine, the term has come to mean any immunising procedure in which vaccine is injected.

    Glossary: self-injector

    No description.

    Glossary: diabetes

    This term refers to any form of metabolic disorder characterized by extreme thirst and excess urine production.

    Glossary: insulin

    A hormone that causes the body's cells to take up glucose from the blood. (Diabetes is the loss of control of the body's levels of insulin.)

    Glossary: diphtheria

    An acute highly contagious infection, generally affecting the throat but occasionally other mucous membranes and the skin. Diphtheria has been largely eradicated due to world-wide vaccination efforts.