Penicillin inhaler (front) of 1945-1955 and Chloroform inhaler, 1871-1910.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
In the foreground is an inhaler for use with bronchovydrin penicillin, made by Bronchovydrin Ltd of London. In the background is a Junker's chloroform inhaler made by Krohne and Sesemann of London. Chloroform was first used as an anaesthetic by James Simpson (1811-1870) of Edinburgh, to ease the pain of childbirth. His succes led to chloroform becoming preferred to ether as an anaesthetic. Although quicker acting than ether, chloroform's poisonous nature meant it was a more dangerous substance to use. Today both have been superseded by safer, more effective anaesthetics.