A 19th C Thomson’s lithotrite signed Walter London made from brass and steel. The instrument was used to trap and crush bladder stones, a common condition in the 18th and 19th centuries on account of poor nutrition and dehydration.
The tip was inserted into the bladder via the urethra and by adjusting the male central blade with the handle, the jaws could be moved freely up and down to find and secure the stone. Once trapped, greater force could be applied to the stone through the screw mechanism which was engaged by sliding the spring loaded steel button on the body of the instrument.
- From the Phisick collection