Malmstrom obstetrical vacuum extractor, Swedish, 1979.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This instrument was used to help deliver babies, in place of forceps. It is a type designed by the Swede T Malmstrom in the 1950s and was manufactured by AB Vacuum Extractor in Sweden. In 1849 the British obstetrician, Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1870), succesfully used a suction cup attached to the baby's head to aid delivery, and this is the idea that Malmstrom revived one hundred years later.