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Horsley-type skull saw, London, England, 1900-1926

The saw was used to cut open the skull and access the brain. It was invented by Sir Victor Horsley (1857-1916), an English surgeon and physiologist who pioneered the discipline of neurosurgery in the late 1800s. It has a nickel plated handle and a stainless steel blade. The handle is especially moulded to fit into the surgeon’s hand. The name of the makers, Krohne & Sesemann, is punched on to the blade.

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Glossary: skull saw

A saw used to cut through the skull. This was often used in preperation for brain surgery.

Glossary: craniotomy

Surgical removal of a portion of the skull in order to access the brain. The procedure is also done to a dead foetus in order to ease delivery.

Glossary: neurosurgery

A surgical speciality that treats diseases and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system.