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Cupping set, London, England, 1831-1870

  • Science Museum, London
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Credit: Cupping set, London, England, 1831-1870. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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A number of instruments could be used for bloodletting, some of which are shown here. The scarificator, which was first developed in the 1600s, has twelve blades that cut into the skin when a trigger is released. The cupping glasses, of which three out of four are shown here, were used to draw blood from the skin. This was done after use of the scarificator and was known as wet cupping. In dry cupping, the vacuum produced as heated cups cool draws liquid from the tissues. The syringe could be attached to the individual cups to further encourage the flow of blood. A stopcock can also be seen. It fits between the syringe and the cupping glass to regulate blood flow. The set was manufactured by surgical instrument makers Walter and Co.

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