Aseptic surgical set, English, 1917.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Manufactured by J Weis & Sons Ltd. This is a Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) military isue set of surgical instruments. The instruments are stored in three sterilisable trays. The importance of hygiene in surgery was not properly accepted until the second half of the 19th century. In the Crimean War of 1854-1856, almost as many soldiers died from infected wounds as were killed on the battlefield itself.