Date: 1860 - 1865 |
Identifier: Country Doctor Museum
During the Civil War, Confederate doctors administered chloroform by folding a towel or napkin into a cone. The chloroform was then dropped onto the cone and the cone held near the patient’s nose so that the anesthetic could be inhaled. If the doctor did not use great care, the chemical would burn the patient. The mask had to be held precisely one half inch from the face. The anesthesia mask helped prevent burning the patient’s skin. The mask could also be used for ether, a different and more expensive anesthetic. The mask is made of metal and is covered with a piece of cloth. The covered mask is placed over the patient’s nose, and the anesthetic is dropped onto the cloth. While breathing normally, the patient slips into a drug-induced sleep. more...