Carbolic acid solution spray, French, 1860-1887.

Image number: 10288028

Carbolic acid solution spray, French, 1860-1887.

The spray is signed 'Collin & Cie, 6 Rue de l'Ecole-de-Medicine, Paris' and is a modification by Lucas-Championniere of Joseph Lister's invention. In 1860, Lister introduced the use of antiseptic conditions in operating areas, greatly reducing the risk of the patient's death from infection and blood poisoning following surgery. He discovered that carbolic acid, (which was already used for drain cleaning) could also kill the germs that caused infection in the human body, and stressed the importance of cleanliness during surgery. French surgeons were some of the first to adopt this method of sterilisation.

Image number:
10288028
Credit:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
20 October 2003 12:44
Image rights:
Science Museum