Bloodletting instruments, 1780.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate four from the 1780 quarto edition of 'La Grande Encyclopedie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers' (Encyclopedia or Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Profesions) edited by Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and Jean d'Alembert (1717-1783). It shows the many instruments used in bloodletting and a patient prepared for the procedure. 'La Grande Encyclopedie' was originally published in 14 volumes between 1751 and 1765. It was more than a summary of all contemporary knowledge, serving as a manifesto for a new way of looking at the world by depicting and describing many of the instruments and proceses which transformed the world during the Industrial Revolution.