Arnold & Sons Hypodermic Syringe

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A beautifully constructed hypodermic syringe for subcutaneous injection made by the London-based surgical instrument firm Arnold & Sons.

The metal hardware is silver-plated and the wheel-etched glass carries the company’s trade name. The top of the piston is stamped with the broad arrow and the letter “I” indicating a governmental or military-issued syringe for the former British colony of India. Two needles complete the set; one needle with a triangular solid steel trocar point with the lumen on the lateral edge of the shaft. The wider bore needles could be used for intravenous use in larger vessels, and with a trocar point needle could be for aspiration or hypodermic subcutaneous infusion. The set rests in a fine embossed leather and velvet case.

“We have received from Messrs. Arnold & Sons an improved hypodermic syringe, which is represented in the accompanying woodcut. The improvement consists in a reservoir, containing oil (in the centre of the plunger); a small piston-rod is inserted inside the ordinary piston, and attached to the handle of the syringe by means of a screw. We have tried this little instrument, which is manufactured by Messrs. Arnold & Sons, of West Smithfield, and can testify to the ease and readiness with which it works; one of the chief difficulties in the use of hypodermic syringes having been successfully overcome by the invention (The Lancet, 1878, p. 89).”


An Improved Hypodermic Syringe. (1878). The Lancet, 2(2864), 89.

  • From the Lusignan syringe collection
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