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Two fleams, early 19th century.

Two fleams, early 19th century.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm


The fleam on the right was made by Long, under Weis's patent of 1828, between 1830-1837. The spring steel fleam on the left was made by John Weis of London between 1823-1828. Fleams are a type of folding lancet. They were very popular, from the beginning of the 18th century onwards, for making the incision into the vein of an animal for blood letting, which was particularly common in horses. A bloodstick was used to strike the back of the fleam to force the blade into the vein.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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