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Bottle of chloroform, United Kingdom, 1896-1945

Duncan Flockhart & Co Ltd was commissioned by James Young Simpson (1811-1870) to manufacture chloroform from 1847 onwards. In 1847, Simpson became the first surgeon to use chloroform as an anaesthetic during childbirth. Duncan Flockhart & Co. Ltd became the first British manufacturers of chloroform and exported it throughout the British Empire. They also expanding into producing other anaesthetics and supplied the British and Allied forces during the First and Second World Wars.

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    Glossary: bottle

    Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

    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: chloroform

    A liquid formerly used as a general anaesthetic although no longer used for this purpose as it causes liver damage and affects the heart rate. It is now used in low concentration to treat flatulence.