Corrigan's button, c 1850.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This cautery instrument is of a type devised in 1846 by Sir Dominic Corrigan (1802-1880). Made of steel and wood, it was manufactured by Read of Dublin, Ireland. Cautery irons were red-hot like branding irons, and were applied to burn and seal bleeding areas, such as skin ulcers and amputation stumps.