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White 'fish kettle' steriliser, England, 1910-1950

This item was used to make instruments germ-free by boiling with water for ten minutes. It was used in surgery as a simple, cheaper alternative to a steriliser. It was a standard item in many hospitals. The long, shallow, enamelled iron pan is called a ‘fish kettle’ as it is can also be used to cook, bake or roast fish. The enamel layer makes it easy to wash out after use.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: sterilisation

To make an object free of live bacteria or other micro-organisms. Usually achieved by heat or chemical means.

Glossary: steriliser

An instrument used to make objects sterile by killing or eliminating agents such as fungi, bacteria and viruses.