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Ampoules of ‘Vaporole’ ether, London, England, 1910-1940

‘Vaporole’ is a trademark of Burroughs, Wellcome & Co, who made this product. Each of the glass vials contains liquid ether. Ether was used as an anaesthetic by applying drops to a face mask and allowing the patient to inhale the vapours. The thin razor is used to remove the top of the vial.

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    Glossary: ampoule

    A sealed glass or plastic capsule containing one dose of a drug in the form of a sterile solution for injection.

    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: ether

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