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Domestic enema, London, England, 1831-1835

Maw, a medical supplier who made this item, called it ‘Maw’s Domestic Medical Machine’. The name was a polite way of advertising a machine that could be used to give enemas at home. Enemas were used to insert liquids into the rectum for medical treatments. In some societies, enemas became fashionable and were believed to rejuvenate the body and increase sexual potency. This machine has an ivory tip and is made from wood.

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Glossary: enema syringe

A syringe for adminstering enemas

Glossary: enema

A liquid injected into the anus. Enemas can be carried out for medical reasons, as a treatment for constipation, or as a way to give drugs.