Mayer & Meltzer Hypodermic Syringe

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Presented is an antique hypodermic syringe made by Messrs. Mayer & Meltzer at the request of Dr. Thomas Buzzard.

The syringe body is composed of glass and silver. The needle is gold with a triangular solid steel trocar point. The lumen is laterally positioned on the needle shaft. The glass is fully intact with wheel-etched graduation markers. The set is complete with the original glass medication vial. A fine velvet material lines the inside of the wood and leatherette case. A description of this syringe was published in an 1869 article in The Lancet.

“A syringe-tube which I (Buzzard) have lately had made will, I hope, do something to extend the hypodermic method by facility and comparative painlessness of its introduction. The ordinary syringe-tube, it will be remembered, is, of gold or silver gilt, and is tubular to the very end, which is sharpened as well as the somewhat soft material allows. Steel tubes of the same form are sometimes employed, but they quickly corrode and get choked. It occurred to me that it was quite unnecessary for the syringe pipe to be tubular throughout, and that a gold tube might with advantage be fitted with a solid steel spear-point of the best form for penetrating the skin. At my request, Messrs Mayer and Meltzer, of Great Portland-street, have attached a triangular steel prism to the ordinary gold tube, and thus constructed an instrument which pierces the skin as easily as the glover’s needle, which is preferred to all others, by many surgeons, and which the termination of the tube closely resembles. The advantages of incorrodibility in its tubular portion, and sharpness of point, are thus combined. The point is wiped by simply passing it between the thumb and finger (Buzzard, 1869, p. 397).”

This syringe and similar variations were made by various instrument makers including Arnold and Sons and Coxeter and Son.


Buzzard, T. (1869, March 20). A Description Of An Improved Syringe-Pipe For Hypodermic Injection. The Lancet, 93(2377), 397.

  • From the Lusignan syringe collection
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