19th Century Breast Pump

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An antique breast pump by J. & W. Wood of 54 King Street, Manchester.

The first breast pumps were patented in the mid 19th century and were recognized as an essential extension of the Victorian family. The device provided maternal relief for congested breasts or sore nipples and was used to extract milk for babies too weak to nurse.

These pumps presented themselves in several forms and were typically sold as medical devices. This particular pump consists of a glass cup with a collection basin and a brass syringe used to create suction. The apparatus is housed in a velvet-lined mahogany case with a lock and key.

  • From the Lusignan collection
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