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'Tabloid' first aid kit used on Alcock and Brown's first transatlantic non-stop flight, England, 1919

This first aid kit was used on the first non-stop transatlantic flight on 14-15 June 1919 by Sir Arthur Whitten Brown (1886-1948) and Sir John William Alcock (1892-1919). Alcock and Brown completed the treacherous crossing in 16 hours 27 minutes. The flight was a matter of national prestige. The men shared the £10,000 prize from the Daily Mail, which had been set up to encourage British aviation. The kit contained bandages, dressings, cotton wool, court plaster, and drugs for pain relief, upset stomachs and nausea, and antiseptics. It also contained carron oil made from linseed oil and lime water for burns and scalds, which were among the most likely injuries on an aircraft full of hot metal; in fact the tube is half empty.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: dressings

Remedies and bandages used to dress or cover a sore, wound, or other lesion.

Glossary: first aid kit

A kit designed to give help to an injured person until proper medical treatment is available

Glossary: court plaster

a plaster composed of gelatin on silk; formerly used to dress superficial wounds

Glossary: bandage

A strip of material such as gauze used to protect, immobilize, compress, or support a wound or injured body part

Glossary: antiseptic

A chemical that destroys or holds back the growth of bacteria and harmful micro-organisms. It can be used to cleanse skin wounds and treat some internal infections if it is sufficiently non-toxic.