Ivory Backed Axillary Thermometer Circa 1800

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A rare antique medical thermometer of the type used by James Currie in his cold water treatment of fevers

This early clinical thermometer is backed by a semicircular carved ivory sleeve on which are marked the gradations of the Fahrenheit scale. The shaft is bent to allow easier reading of the temperature with the thermometer placed in the patient’s armpit. The distal end is secured with a short piece of green silk cord. It is housed in a hinged leather fitted case which is silk lined and closes with two brass catches. A similar example can be seen in the Wellcome Museum London.

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