Endotracheal tube, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A steel and bras tube, devised for endotracheal anaesthesia by Sir William MacEwen (1848-1924) at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Scotland. The insertion of tubing into the trachea of the patient while under anaesthetic, via the mouth and voice box, prevented the aspiration of secretions and controlled respiration during surgery. MacEwen was a pioneer of asepsis (the proces of sterilization, preventing germs from entering wounds) and brain, lung and orthopaedic surgery.