Doctor’s Birthing Kit

Dublin Core

Title

Doctor’s Birthing Kit

Subject

Anesthesia, Obstetrical
Labor, Obstetric
Labor Pain
Childbirth
Scopolamine
Chloroform

Description

The objects inside this kit indicate that the original owner was probably an obstetrician who may have been a practitioner of Dämmerschlaf or “Twilight Sleep.” A combination of morphine, to mitigate pain, and scopolamine to cause amnesia, was given by injection to women in labor. It caused many women to forget their labor pain, but the drug combination could also cause extreme or violent behavior. In 1914, reports of “pain free” deliveries in Europe gave rise in the U.S. to the National Twilight Sleep Association, which successfully campaigned for the widespread adoption of the technique.

Abstract

Anesthesia kit collected by Bert B. Hershenson, MD, Director of Anesthesia at the Boston Lying-In Hospital.

Date

1910, circa

Rights

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. For use information, contact the Warren Anatomical Museum Curator at chm@hms.harvard.edu

Access Rights

Accessing collections in the Warren Anatomical Museum and the Warren Anatomical Museum archive requires advanced notice. Please submit a request to Public Services at chm@hms.harvard.edu to access the displayed item

Is Part Of

Warren Anatomical Museum

Format

object

Extent

1 kit with 6 objects inside

Medium

Medical Instruments, Equipment, and Devices

Type

physical object

Identifier

Warren Anatomical Museum Catalog Number: 22034

Files

22034.jpg

Citation

“Doctor’s Birthing Kit,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed August 11, 2022, https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/26592.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.

Transcribe This Item

  1. 22034.jpg