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Model of a ‘flying ambulance’, Europe, 1801-1850

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This is a model of the ‘flying ambulance’ invented in the 1790s by Dominique Jean Larrey (1766-1842). Named after the speed with which wounded men could be transported from the battlefield to field hospitals, the sheltered carriage was often used as a place to perform emergency surgery. Drawn by two or more horses, this two-wheeled carriage has space for two stretchered patients inside. Larrey also organised an ambulance corps of surgeons and orderlies and equipped them with first aid supplies. Before Larrey’s invention, men treated their own wounds or lay in agony until after the battle.

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    Glossary: model - representation

    Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.

    Glossary: ambulance

    A vehicle used for taking people to and from hospital for treatment, particularly in emergencies.

    Glossary: field hospital

    A temporary hospital set up near a combat zone to provide emergency care for the wounded.