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Face mask for Clover's 'Portable Regulating Ether Inhaler', England, 1877-1920

The face mask is from Clover’s ‘Portable Regulating Ether Inhaler’, which was invented in 1877 by Joseph Thomas Clover (1825-82). The dose of anaesthetic could be controlled using the valves below the face mask. Clover’s portable inhaler was popular and remained in use until the Second World War.

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    Glossary: anaesthetic

    An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).

    Glossary: inhaler

    A device for breathing in a drug in order to deliver it to the airways or lungs.

    Glossary: ether

    A volatile liquid (resulting from the action of sulphuric acid upon alcohol) formerly used as an anaesthetic. Ether was usually inhaled.