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Cullingworth-type obstetrical forceps, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1860-1880

Steel obstetrical forceps grip and rotate a baby’s head during difficult childbirths. The curved blades fit the baby’s head and the curve of the mother’s pelvis. Gynaecologist and obstetrician Charles Cullingworth (1841-1908) modified existing designs. He strengthened the materials using only metal as well as strengthening the screws used. These obstetrical forceps were one of many designs at that time.

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Glossary: obstetrical forceps

An instrument used to assist the delivery of a foetus, usually during a birth where complications have developed. Numerous variations have been developed over time. The fundamental design has two separate looped blades with handles. These interlock to form a grasping instrument.