Coronavirus (COVID-19) While museums are closed, the Science and Society Picture Library prints site is fully operational and we have added an FAQ page here.

Bullet extractors and amputation saws, 17th-18th century.

Bullet extractors and amputation saws, 17th-18th century.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm


The use of gunpowder increased in the 15th century, and this affected medicine because wounds caused by guns and cannon were different to those made by swords and arrows. New instruments were devised to extract bullets (many people believed bullet wounds were poisonous). Prior to the invention of antiseptics, amputation was often the treatment of first rather than last resort, to prevent infection spreading through the body from injuries and wounds.

Image Details

Image Ref.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

buy a print

Select size
Select finish
How many prints?

buy a framed print

buy a canvas

buy a framed canvas