Mystery object – Frimley Sanatorium

Mystery object 1: an illustration by a patient in a letter sent to the Lady Almoner at Frimley Sanatorium in 1952. Image source: Royal London Hospital Archives & Museum: RLHBH/AL/3/27/9

Mystery object 2: an image from the Wellcome Trust library that is related to Mystery object 1. Image Source: Wellcome Image Library.

Both the illustration and above object performed the same function.

Can anyone name them?

Answer to be published on Friday 17th July.

 

*** Update. See below for the answer ***

 

Mystery object 1 is an illustration of an object written by patient WA, a recovered tuberculosis patient, to the Lady Almoner at Frimley Sanatorium. WA refers to it colloquially as a ‘Brompton Muzzle’ that ‘were in common use to ease restricted breathing’. 

His illustration features an area for an absorbant sponge along the same lines as the absorbant sponge at the bottom of mystery object 2 which is an illustration of a Burney Yeo mask.

The Lady Almoner contacts the Dispensary in regards to the patient’s enquiry, and notes the following:

‘Dispensary say that they have a Burney Yeo’s improved inhaler which is a different shape but appears to fit over the mouth and nose and is on the same principle. Dispensary say that there should be no difficulty in obtaining this mask. It is in use in most hospitals’.

The Almoner replies, ‘I have made enquires in our Dispensary and I find that we have a small mask which serves the purpose that you describe. It is on the same principle, but is a square shape and much smaller.

The ‘Burney Yeo’ appears to be several iterations of a type mask used in the treatment of tuberculosis in which the patient inhaled an antiseptic liquid via an absorbant material.

If anyone knows of any other examples of the Burney Yeo mask or what the ‘solution’ that the patient inhaled might have been, please do comment below.

Images submitted by Dr Flora Malein.

 

Sources used:

The Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum

Wellcome Trust Library

Posted in instruments, medical history, mystery object, Quiz and tagged .

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