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Seven kidney dishes, 1900-1950

These kidney dishes were used to hold instruments, medical waste and dressings during surgery. One of the kidney dishes has the word ‘THEATRE’ painted on. They are called kidney dishes because of their shape – they can easily fit close in to a patient’s body. These examples are made from enamel and iron and were used at St Bernard’s Hospital in England, once known as the Hanwell Lunatic Asylum. The largest dish is 357 mm long, weighing 0.46 kg; the smallest is 198 mm long and weighs 0.18kg. One dish is marked ‘Kockmus’, which is the name of a Swedish company.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: kidney dish

A kidney-shaped dish, especially one used in surgery. Usually used to receive soiled dressings and medical waste. Reusable dishes are made from stainless steel, whereas disposable dishes are made from pulped material. Every year more than 100 Million pulp kidney dishes are used in hospital and in the home. (world-wide)

Glossary: asylum

A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.