The doctor’s inhaler

One of our former village doctors has had this inhaler in his possession for at least 40 years. He recently passed it to the museum.

An inhaler owned by a village doctor

An inhaler owned by a village doctor

This is a lovely ceramic item with a cork and glass breathing tube. The writing on it explains all.

Full instructions are glazed into the ceramic

Full instructions are glazed into the ceramic

So this is Dr Nelson’s improved inhaler and its function seems to be to make people breathe hot steam.

The item is British made by Burleigh Ironstone of Staffordshire.

The manufacturer's mark is on the underside

The manufacturer’s mark is on the underside

Dr Nelson invented this inhaler in the 1860s but it is hard to date the item because they can still be bought new. Singers might use them to hydrate the vocal flaps.

However, we know ours has some antiquity as well as the required local connection.

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2 Responses to “The doctor’s inhaler”

  1. Liz Thom Says:

    The use of these inhalers was taught in Preliminary Training School during my nursing training in the 1960s. Tincture of benzoin was added to the boiling water for chesty coughs and mentholated crystals for stuffy noses!

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