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Motor car accident emergency case, England, 1891-1920

The motor car was a relatively new form of transport in England during the 1890s and was only available to the small minority who could afford one. Kept in a motor car in case of emergencies or accidents, this black metal case contains carron oil for burns, a court plaster, bandages, arnica for bruises and smelling salts to bring around someone who has fainted. The first person killed in a car accident in Britain is believed to be Bridget Driscoll – struck down by a car giving demonstration rides in the grounds of the Crystal Palace in south London. Her death was subject to an inquest, during which the coroner stated that he “hoped such a thing would never happen again”.

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Glossary: first aid kit

A kit designed to give help to an injured person until proper medical treatment is available

Glossary: court plaster

a plaster composed of gelatin on silk; formerly used to dress superficial wounds

Glossary: bandage

A strip of material such as gauze used to protect, immobilize, compress, or support a wound or injured body part

Glossary: burns

tissue damage caused by such agents as heat, cold, chemicals, electricity, ultraviolet light, or nuclear radiation. A first-degree burn affects only the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. In a second-degree burn both the epidermis and the underlying dermis are damaged. A third-degree burn involves damage or destruction of the skin to its full depth and damage to the tissues beneath. Burns cause swelling and blistering, due to loss of plasma from damaged blood vessels.

Glossary: first aid

Treatment that is rendered initially for the care of an emergent condition. It is usually performed by a lay person to a sick or injured patient until definitive medical treatment can be accessed

Glossary: Esmarch bandage

No description.

Glossary: smelling salts

Used to arouse consciousness. The salts release a small amount of ammonia, which triggers the nasal passage's inhalation reflex.

Glossary: arnica

A flower that is a member of the Daisy family. It is found in areas of the Northern Hemisphere and was used to treat bruises.