History of the Home Canning Jar and Collecting Antique Mason, Ball and Kerr Jars
Looking for History of the Home Canning Jar and Collecting Antique Mason, Ball and Kerr Jars in 2021? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.
If you have questions or feedback, please let me know! There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.
The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Glass" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.
Glass production and demand
Glass production raw material distribution 2019
Glass production raw material distribution 2019
Global projection of lithium demand for glass 2019-2030
U.S. glass industry
Number of employees at selected top U.S. glazier companies 2019
Flat glass product manufacturing gross output 1998-2016
Worldwide glass demand for platinum by region 2013-2018
Glass Container on Quadruped - History
A dusty bottle sits on the table at a garage sale. The bottle is interesting because it is obviously old and the lovely color is eye-catching. The question is, what type of bottle is it and how old is it? Those are the questions bottle collectors ask themselves when they come across new or unusual bottles. People who collect bottles are often drawn to the hobby by the beauty of the bottles, the history behind them, and the fact that they are small and do not take up as much space as other collectibles might. Collectible bottles can be found at rummage sales, at flea markets, or even in the ground. Glass bottles do not degrade over time, so the bottles that were buried in landfills or thrown down privy holes with the rest of the household garbage years ago are still down there. Bottles are also collectible because there are many kinds of bottles, so a collector is sure to find a specific type that they want to focus on, like medicinal bottles, cola bottles, perfume bottles, or ink bottles. Some bottles are valuable because they are rare, but others have little or no value. When beginning a bottle collection, it is important to learn which bottles are considered collectible, where to find them, how to identify them, and how to determine their worth.
Choose from a number of antique bottle pricing guides useful for determining the worth of bottles. Get advice on cleaning, evaluating, and dating bottles and read a huge archive of questions and answers from bottle collectors here.
Collectors Weekly is a website that offers antique bottle collectors a place to learn about the many different types of bottles. In addition, collectors can share pictures of their favorite bottles and read informative articles.
Peruse a wealth of information categorized by bottle classification as well as information about upcoming bottle events and advice on topics related to bottle collecting, like digging for bottles and common terms and abbreviations.
The Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC) is a nonprofit organization that supports people who collect antique bottles and items related to them, such as flasks and jars.
The Antique Bottle Depot buys and sells antique bottles. View a number of pictures of antique bottles and historical photographs here.
Supported by the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website aims to help collectors determine the ages and types of bottles in their collections.
Discuss bottle collecting with fellow collectors, view a gallery of bottle photographs, and use the site's Resources page to find even more websites dedicated to bottle collecting.
Read articles about interesting bottle finds, view pictures of antique bottles, and get free appraisals for uncommon antique bottles made before 1910. This club specializes in bottles made in Wisconsin.
The National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa, New York, celebrates the history of the bottle-making industry. See pictures of the museum's large collection of bottles and keep up to date on upcoming bottle shows.
Learn where to dig for buried bottles from an antiquarian and collector.
Get instructions for finding old privy locations and building a privy probe.
Watch a video detailing the tools necessary for digging up antique bottles, how to find the best digging sites, and how to dig without breaking the bottles.
Discover where and how to locate antique bottles in or around bodies of water.
Determine the approximate age of a bottle using the lip style, mold style, or bottom style using this handy table with pictures.
Learn about the specialized world of collecting Chinese snuff bottles. This website covers the types of materials used to make snuff bottles as well as a brief discussion of their history.
Read about manufacturers' marks and how to identify a bottle by the mark. Use the site's alphabetical listing of manufacturers' marks and their descriptions to determine the manufacturer of a bottle.
The Coca-Cola Co. provides an article about what makes certain Coca-Cola bottles collectible and which ones are the most valuable because of their rarity.
Many collectible medicine bottles were originally purchased from apothecaries by patients during colonial times. Learn more about apothecaries and the treatments they used.
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History houses the Bristol-Myers Squibb European Apothecary exhibit, which includes a collection of glass apothecary containers. Find out more about the 300-plus containers in the collection.
Explore the history of apothecary jars and bottles on this page from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. Learn why bottles were shaped in certain ways and how bottle labels changed through the years.
Discover how apothecaries used glass show globes containing colorful liquids to attract the attention of passers-by and distinguish their shops from others on the street.
Read a thesis that uses an archaeological collection of medicinal bottles from Atlanta that date from 1860-1920 to determine the impact of local drug manufacturers on the area.
Find out how unearthed milk bottles helped college students learn about sustainability on campus.
Determine the dates of antique Ball jars by the logo. This blog post contains useful images of Ball logos and their corresponding dates of use.
Ball, the makers of Ball canning jars, provides a history of some of the influential members of the Ball family and a timeline of the company.
Martha Stewart talks with Martin Franklin, co-founder of Jarden, he manufacturer of Ball canning jars, about the history of the Ball jar.
Read an article from the May 29, 1910, issue of the Los Angeles Herald with an important safety tip for parents on how to secure a poison bottle using a piece of cloth and a rubber band.
View photographs of collectible poison bottles with detailed descriptions of each.
From art glass to Victorian bottles and everything in between, view photographs and information about perfume bottles in this virtual museum.
This site offers a discussion of how and why pontil marks occur on the bottoms of glass bottles.
The Collector's Guide to Milk Glass
Skim this primer to learn more about some of the most prized pieces in the Milky Way.
Opaque Glass originated in 16th century Venice and came in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, blue, and brown. The white variety beloved today rose to prominence during the Victorian era, when it was coveted as an economic dead-ringer for porcelain. (The Victorians also get credit for coining the term "milk glass.") Its production and popularity waned during the Great Depression but saw a resurgence after World War II. Thanks to a frenzy of mass production during the 1950s and 1960s from companies such as Anchor Hocking, Fenton, and Westmoreland, the mid-century finds are readily available today&mdashmany for mere milk money. Here are some pretty pieces to add to your own collection.
In the 1950s and 1960s, milk glass vessels were florists' go-to. This small bud vase (1), valued at $5, showcases Stars and Bars, a popular pattern discontinued in 1965. Also of interest is this nubby style (2) that goes for $10 and sports the raised pattern known as Hobnail. Introduced by Fenton in 1939, the look quickly became synonymous with milk glass design. Less noteworthy vases can be found in lots of 5 to 10 for as little as $1 on eBay and Etsy.
Banana Stands Victorians wanted a dish for everything bananas were no exception. This 1950s reproduction (1), used here as a flower display, features a lace edge and holds a value of $45. One from the early 1900s could fetch up to $100.
Pitchers Decorative pitchers recall a time when lingering around the dinner table was the norm. The striking owl (2), worth $125, is a wise investment thanks to pristine cabochon eyes. Less rare pitchers, like those alongside the owl, go for $40.
Cake Stands These stately pieces are the current "it" item among milk glass collectors and have high prices to show for it. This relatively rare Silver Crest cake plate by Fenton (3) has a thin wavy edge and fetches a sweet $75.
Punch Bowl A party staple of the 1960s, punch bowls are highly coveted by today's collectors. If paired with the original 12 cups, this bowl by glassmaker Hazel-Atlas (4) would bring in $50. Without the cups, you can scoop it for $25.
Cruets Made to hold oil and vinegar, cruets were popular during the Victorian era and saw a resurgence during the 1950s. This Westmoreland pourer (5) was part of a set that also came with a container and small tray. Alone the vessel is valued at $25 the full trio would command $50.
Plates Unlike other 20th-century tabletop collectibles such as Jadeite and Fiesta, actual milk glass dinnerware was never produced. Instead, the plates you see here were used as serving pieces or home deécor. Today, purely decorative plates, like this sought-after one featuring the face of George Washington (1), sell for $30. Those with flawless adornment (2) (painting floral or fruit motifs on milk glass was a popular hobby) have a rate of $20.
Covered Dishes Decorative sugar bowls and candy dishes were a staple on buffet tables throughout the 1900s. One of the most popular designs was Westmoreland's Paneled Grape. This 1940s version (3) is worth $25 thanks to its intact lid. Also of note is the Hen on a Nest (4) , which has been produced by virtually every milk glass manufacturer at some point. Those items were originally sold at grocery stores and contained mustard, but consumers continued to flock to the look long after they transported the condiment. This particular hen was produced in the 1950s by Indiana Glass and clucks in at $35.
To verify your piece is a genuine antique (1960s and prior), look for the "Ring of Fire" by holding it up to a natural light source. Older milk glass was made with iridized salts and, therefore, should produce a halo of iridescent reds, blues, and greens in the sun.
IS THE GLASS VESSEL A BEAKER, BOTTLE, BOWL, FLASK, OR CUP ?
A universally accepted terminology of ancient glass shapes does not exist. So wrote E. Marianne Stern in the book Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval Glass, Ernesto Wolf Collection 10 BCE-700 CE, publishers Hatje Cantz, 2001. The rest of this post is based on this book and Stern’s writing.
In the following post of terminology, Greek and Latin names are used sparingly. Where possible, an English name is preferred and the terminology is followed by a picture or pictures illustrating the term.
Amphora: A special form of jug with two handles.
MINIATURE AMPHORA of Hans van Rossum
Aryballos: A bath bottle for cleansing oil.ARYBALLOS WITH CHAIN AND STOPPER of Hans van Rossum Roman Aryballos 68R 1st-2nd C Allaire collection
Askos: A vessel imitating the shape of a wine-skin.
ROMAN ASKOS of Nico F. Bijnsdorp
Beaker: An open-shaped vessel that is taller than it is wide. Usually, but not always a drinking vessel.
Bottle: A sizable vessel with a neck, with or without handles. The mouth is usually made so it can be closed tightly. The body can be barrel-shaped, cylindrical, spherical, square, or prismatic. Usually for storage and transport sometimes for serving liquids at the table. Special shapes are, Frontinus bottle, Lenticular bottle, Spouted bottle. Small bottles are called unguentaria.12A Dark amber swirl bottle 1800-1820 of Allaire Collection SMALL ONE HANDLED BARREL JUG of The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass
Bowl: An open-shaped vessel that is wider than it is tall. Usually for serving or presenting food, sometimes for drinking in the East also for lighting. Special shapes include Zarte Rippenschale.
Cone: An open conical vessel ending in a point. Usually used in the West for drinking and in the East for lighting.Nico F. Bijnsdorp collection Merovingian cone beaker Late 5th – early 6th century The Allaire Collection 60E Merovingian cone cone shaped beaker Late 5th to first half of 6th century
Cup: An open-shaped vessel that is about as tall as it is wide. Usually for drinking, but sometimes lidded and used as a jar. Special shapes include goblet, Hofheium cup, modiolus.
Dish: A flat or shallow bowl. Usually for serving or presenting food.
Flask: A vessel with a neck but without handles. The mouth is usually not made for closing. The body is usually bulbous. Usually tableware, for serving liquids.Pattern-Blown Flask late Roman 5th C of Hans van Rossum 36A American Pattern-molded flask 1800-1835 of Allaire collection
Goblet: A stemmed, footed cup. Usually used for drinking. In Eastern Mediterranean commonly used as an oil lamp with a floating wick.FAÇON DE VENISE WINEGLASS MADE FROM CRISTALLO from: Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen 52e Late Roman glass goblet 5-7th C Allaire collection
Jar: Two types of jars 1 and 2.
(1) A vessel with a wide rim but without neck. The body can be bulbous or square. Usually for storage of foods. Special shapes include: urn.DECORATED PYXIS OR JAR 4th – 5th century AD | Eastern Mediterranean of Hans van Rossum Facon de Venise Covered Jar with Animal Head Medallions 1600 C. Allaire collection
Roman Honey-Colored Trailed Jar 37R Allaire collection WHEEL-ABRADED ROMAN GLASS JAR OF Nico F. Bijnsdorp
INDENTED JAR WITH FLARING RIM of The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass LARGE JAR OR URN of Joop van der Groen
(2) The commonest form of the Eastern Mediterranean jar has a funnel neck which is actually a tall, flaring mouth. The body is usually bulbous, less frequently cylindrical: it can have functional handles, multiple decorative handles or a pattern trailing attached to the rim. These jars were probably tableware for serving foods.
ROMAN GLASS JAR WITH ZIG-ZAG DECORATION of the The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass Jar with zig-zag rim The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass
Jug: An elaborate flask usually with handle. The mouth can be round, trefoil or spouted. Usually for serving wine or other liquids at the table. Special shapes include: amphora see top of this page.Side B 56R Footed Jug with Thumb Rest Allaire collection
Globular Transparent Jug of The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass LARGE ROMAN GLASS JUG WITH THUMB-REST 3-4th C Nico F. Bijnsdorp
Roman Glass Jug with Long Neck of Hans van Rossum PEAR-SHAPED JUG OR LAGOENA of Hans van Rossum
Roman Jug with Handle of Elisabeth & Theo Zandbergen ROMAN GLASS JUG WITH LOOP HANDLE, RIBBED NECK AND OVOID BODY The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass
Kohl tube: A tubular container for kohl, a black eye paint used widely in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine.ROD-FORMED KOHL TUBE WITH STOPPER of Nico F. Bijnsdorp LATE ROMAN GLASS KOHL (COSMETIC) TUBE of Hans van Rossum
Lenticular bottle: A bottle with flattened section.LENTOID BOTTLE of Hans van Rossum Lentoid core glass of David Giles
50R Pilgrim flask 3-4th Century Allaire Collection LENTOID ARYBALLOS of Hans van Rossum
Modiolus: A one-handled cup.
Modiolus From The Windmill Collection of Roman Glass
Sprinkler: Any vessel with an internal diaphragm at the base of the neckSPRINKLER WITH FINS of Joop van der Groen 01R Green two handled sprinkler 3-4th C Allaire collection
128 POMEGRANATE-SHAPED SPRINKLER from the collection of Hans van Rossum 47R Sprinkler Flask with fins and toes 3-4th Century Allaire collection
POMEGRANATE SPRINKLER The Augustinus Collection of Ancient Glass 3H Roman Glass Guttrolf Sprinkler Bottle of Hans van Rossum
Urn: A burial jar for cremation ashes which may be lidded. The body is usually bulbous. Many burial urns have two heavy coil handles, often M-shaped.CINERARY URN of Nico F. Bijnsdorp ROMAN GREEN GLASS CINERARY URN WITH LID of David Giles
Cinerary urn with lid, from the Windmill Collection Cinerary urn without lid, from the Windmill Collection
How Canned Food Revolutionized The Way We Eat
From pickling and salting to smoking and drying, humans have been finding ways to make food last longer since prehistoric times. But by the 18th century, an efficient𠅊nd truly effective—means of preservation remained elusive.
In 1795, the French government decided to do something about it. That year, the country was fighting battles in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and the Caribbean, highlighting the need for a stable source of food for far-flung soldiers and seamen. France&aposs leaders decided to offer a 12,000-franc prize through the Society for the Encouragement of Industry for a breakthrough in the preservation of food.
WATCH: Season 1 of The Food That Built America without signing in now.
Nicolas Appert, a young chef from the region of Champagne, was determined to win. Appert, who had worked as a chef for the French nobility, dove into the study of food preservation. He eventually came up with a radical innovation: food packed in champagne bottles, sealed airtight with an oddly effective mixture of cheese and lime. Appert’s discovery built on earlier imperfect techniques, which either removed air or preserved food by heat but hadn’t managed to do both.
Running a bustling lab and factory, Appert soon progressed from champagne bottles to wide-necked glass containers. In 1803 his preserved foods (which came to include vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy and fish) were sent out for sea trials with the French navy. By 1804, his factory had begun to experiment with meat packed in tin cans, which he soldered shut and then observed for months for signs of swelling. Those that didn’t swell were deemed safe for sale and long-term storage.
In 1806 the legendary gastronomist Grimod de la Reynière wrote glowingly of Appert, noting that his canned fresh peas were “green, tender and more flavorful than those eaten at the height of the season.” Three years later, Appert was officially awarded the government&aposs prize, with the stipulation that he publish his method. He did in 1810 as The Art of Preserving, for Several Years, all Animal and Vegetable Substances.
WATCH: Full episodes of Eating History online now.
Boyer/Roger Viollet/Getty Images
Appert’s process (which was quickly built upon by canners across the English Channel) was all the more amazing because it predated Louis Pasteur’s discoveries of germ growth and sterilization by more than 50 years. Canned food also predated, by around 30 years, the can opener itself. The first metal canisters were made of tin-plated steel or even cast iron, with heavy lids that had to chiseled open or stabbed through with soldiers’ bayonets.
After winning the prize, Appert spent many more years working to improve his method amidst the chaos of post-Napoleonic France. His factories remained innovative but unprofitable, and he died a poor man in 1841 and was buried in a common grave. By then variants of his process were used to can foods ranging from New York oysters and Nantes sardines to Italian fruit and Pennsylvania tomatoes.
The J. Paul Getty Museum
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Bottle Mounted on a Quadruped
Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
Not currently on view
Bottle Mounted on a Quadruped
bottle 1st century base 6th century
1921 - 1923
Estate of Enrico Caruso, Italian, 1873 - 1921 [sold, the American Art Galleries, New York, March 5-8, 1923, lot 184, to Emile Tabbagh.]
1923 - 1933
Emile Tabbagh, 1879 - 1933 (Paris, France New York, New York)
1933 - 1936
Estate of Emile Tabbagh, 1879 - 1933 [sold, Anderson Galleries, New York, January 3, 1936, lot 24.]
Harry Leonard Simmons (New York, New York) [sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, April 5, 1940, lot 99, through French and Co. to J. Paul Getty.]
1940 - 1976
J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, upon his death, held in trust by the estate.
1976 - 1978
Estate of J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, distrbuted to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.
American Art Association, New York. Illustrated Catalogue of the Rare and Beautiful Antique Art Treasures, Many of which came from the J. Pierpont Morgan, Spitzer, Bardac, Maurice Kann and Rodolphe Kann Collections. The Property of the Late Enrico Caruso. March 5-8, 1923, lot 184, ill.
Anderson Galleries, New York. Sale cat., Emile Tabbagh collection, January 3-4, 1936, lot 24, ill.
Parke-Bernet, New York. Sale cat., H. Leonard Simmons coll., April 4-5, 1940, lot 99, ill.
Frel, Jiří. "Imitations of Ancient Sculpture in Malibu." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. 9 (Malibu: 1981). pp. 69-82, p. 69, n. 4 (where cited as 78.AJ.29).
This information is published from the Museum's collection database. Updates and additions stemming from research and imaging activities are ongoing, with new content added each week. Help us improve our records by sharing your corrections or suggestions.
/> The text on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, unless otherwise noted. Images and other media are excluded.
The content on this page is available according to the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) specifications. You may view this object in Mirador – a IIIF-compatible viewer – by clicking on the IIIF icon below the main image, or by dragging the icon into an open IIIF viewer window.
A history of syringes and needles
Syringes were invented long before hypodermic needles. Their origins are found in Greek and Roman literature where there are descriptions of hollow reeds for the ritual of anointing the body with oil, and as musical instruments using a plunger to alter the pitch. Simple piston syringes for delivering ointments and creams for medical use were described by Galen (129-200 CE) and an Egyptian, Ammar bin Ali al-Mawsili, reported using glass tubes to apply suction for cataract extraction from about 900 CE. In 1650, Pascal’s experimental work in hydraulics stimulated him to invent the first modern syringe which allowed the infusion of medicines. Christopher Wren (better known as an architect than for his medical training), used a ‘cut-down’ technique to intravenously inject dogs with poppy sap through goose quill canulae. By 1660 Drs Major and Esholttz used this method on humans with similar fatal results due to ignorance of suitable dosage and the need for sterilising utensils and the infusion. The disastrous consequences of these experiments delayed the use of injections for 200 years.
The first hypodermic needle was probably made by Francis Rynd in Dublin in 1844, using the technology of annealing the edges of a folded flat strip of steel to make a tube. This was then drawn through increasingly narrower dies whilst maintaining the patency of the needle. The bevelled point is cut and ground, and then the hub is added with its variety of fittings and locks. A syringe has three elements, the barrel (glass, plastic or metal), the plunger and the piston which may be of rubber, mineral, metal or synthetic material but in early examples waxed linen tape or asbestos was wound on a reel to obtain a watertight seal. Charles Pravaz, in France, administered coagulant to sheep in 1853, but it seems that Alexander Wood in Edinburgh combined a functional syringe with a hypodermic needle in the same year, to inject morphine into humans and probably should be credited with inventing the technique. The basic design has remained unchanged though interchangeable parts and the use of plastic resulted in the almost universal use of disposable syringes and needles since the mid-1950s.
Looking to the future of the parenteral administration of medicines and vaccines, it’s likely that there will be increasing use of direct percutaneous absorption, especially for children. Micro-silicon-based needles, so small that they don’t trigger pain nerves are being developed, however, these systems cannot deliver intravenous or bolus injections so hypodermic needles, with or without syringes, are likely to be with us for a long time. They are also required for catheter-introduced surgical procedures in deep anatomical locations.
Some needles from the collection:
Figure 1 shows three generations of needles. The top left ones are single-use needles from the 1950s with various lengths and gauges. At the top right is small sample of needles of a currently used type, supplied in a patent wrapper in their individual protective sheathes, with colour coded plastic hubs. Below these are the 1930s screw-on double ended needles patented by Boots & Co Ltd to fit their cartridge loading syringes. The internal point pierced the rubber bung on pre-dosed cartridges which could be inserted in the patent syringe.
The range of needles is extensive. Each manufacturer produced a different shaped hub. Also, the taper of the nozzle was non-standard though most used were the ‘Luer’ and then the more tapered ‘Record’ but in addition to this were different locking devices to fit different syringe nozzles. The gauge and length of needles varies greatly according to their purpose. Figure 2 illustrates infusion needles in which the bulbous hub fits directly on to rubber tubing. Pneumothorax needles are for withdrawing air from the pleural cavity. The side arm allows for the attachment of a suction bottle using a two-way tap. The Hamilton Bailey type infusion canulae needles are eight from the early 20 th century, made of gold for sterility, with slots through which to thread a support tape. Figure 4. Shows aspiration needles. They have a bevel-pointed introducer to facilitate insertion of the needle.
Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3.
Figure 4 below, shows two unused, ‘Gord’ type, infusion needles. Both are fitted with detachable rubber diaphragms to make repeated intravenous injection easier. With several minor variations they were used for many years until the 1960s when single use ‘Butterfly Needles’ were introduced.
Figure 5: This is a 1930s portable lumbar puncture set used to measure the pressure of and test the cerebrospinal fluid which flows when the spinal meninges have been punctured.
Figure 6: Haemorrhoid needles are characterised by a shoulder on the haft a few millimetres short of the needle tip to prevent deep penetration when injecting the haemorrhoids. A secure needle-lock ensured that the increased pressure required to inject the viscous oil did not detach the needle.
Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6.
The needles pictured below represent the range of needles and packaging which were commonplace between 1920 and 1950. They often became blunt with multiple use, were impossible to clean and sterilise adequately and caused infections leading to cellulitis and abscesses. Sharpening needles was sometimes solved by including a suitably shaped carborundum stone in the injection set. Needle sharpening devices were needed for rapid and consistent sharpening of many needles by large institutions (Figures 7. & 8.).
Syringes and Injection Sets:
The Mussel Shell (Figure 9.), a pocket-sized syringe set, was patented by Burroughs Welcome, about 1910, particularly for use with tabloids, containing a standardised dose of soluble preparations to be injected after dissolving in distilled water. It was not until later that pharmaceutical manufacturers prepared sterile injections in sealed glass ampoules. Probably the oldest syringe in the collection (c1875) has a small metal barrel with a plain glass tube to contain a medication. It is crude and has a waxed linen piston with thumb-hold on the plunger. The needle has a screw fitting like another of the older syringes in the collection with its ferrous metal ends and non-sterilisable, ivory thumb piece on a plunger with a rubber piston. (Figure 11.)
Figure 9. Figure 10. Figure 11.
There were a variety in syringes made from all glass to all metal, but the Rekordspritze introduced by the Berlin instrument makers Dewitt and Hertz in 1906 gained prominence through its dependability, lack of leakage and jamming, and ease of dismantling to enable sterilisation. This pattern persisted until plastic superseded it. It was manufactured by many companies with minor modification all over the world. All glass syringes retained some popularity but were more susceptible to jamming and leaking (Figure 13.). Cartridge syringes were popular with dentists, and for emergency kits (Figure 14.).
Figure 12. Figure 13. Figure 14.
The collection contains several special purpose syringes and syringe sets. The anaesthetic syringe set was in common use by GPs and specialists. (Figure 10.). One that took us a while to identify is shown in Figure 15. The copper cased cannulas and the thick metal syringe with a robust screw lock retain heat to enable the injection of melted paraffin wax into hollow organs and vessels for demonstration specimens for morbid anatomy classes. Another unusual syringe is the AGLA Micrometre Syringe Outfit shown in Figure 16. This was designed for analysis of diluted concentrations of biological fluid components where accurate measurement of precise quantities is required. The enclosed booklet suggests that it was particularly used in immunology research and assessment where serial dilutions are critical, but toxicology would suggest itself as another application.
Needles and syringes were routinely sterilised in sets, usually by simple boiling but in clinics and hospitals autoclaves were used to obtain higher temperatures. Syringe sets enabled the non-interchangeable components to be kept together. Single use items now dominate the products though occasionally glass may be used in preference to plastic because of the characteristics of the substance to be injected. However, most syringes, intravenous giving sets and intravenous catheter placement sets are made from plastic with stainless steel needles, wrapped in cellophane and sterilised using gamma irradiation (Figure 17.). Expensive modern biological pharmaceuticals are often distributed in a single dose syringe with, plastic and rubber plunger with a sealed needle incorporated into the glass barrel for self- administration. This means the syringe is the container for the medicine and reduces the chance of wastage (Figure 18).
Volumetric flasks are used to prepare solutions. Each features a narrow neck with a marking, usually for a single precise volume. Because temperature changes cause materials, including glass, to expand or shrink, volumetric flasks aren't meant for heating. These flasks can be stoppered or sealed so that evaporation won't change the concentration of a stored solution.