The latest addition to the Heritage Centre is this wonderful book of lecture notes by Joseph Clover.
Though he also developed a chloroform apparatus, Clover is most famous for creating an ether inhaler in 1877. Described at the time as a ‘most ingenious and useful apparatus’ it included a face-piece and rebreathing bag, and so regulated the amount of ether the patient breathed in. It continued to be in use well into the twentieth century and the Anaesthesia Museum has several examples on display. The new book contains the notes Clover made whilst a medical student at UCL in the lectures of Dr C J B Williams, during the winter term of 1845-1846. The notes are beautifully written and span a range of subjects, with a few small sketches or tables to illustrate points.
The latest collection donated to the Heritage Centre was received earlier this month from the family of Dr Edith Gilchrist, a well-known anaesthetist and highly-respected archivist and researcher.
Born in September 1913, Dr Gilchrist died shortly before her 100th birthday in July 2013. She qualified in 1938 at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, and within five years was resident anaesthetist at Addenbrookes Hospital, before returning to the Royal Free as staff anaesthetist in 1945. Dr Gilchrist gained the DA (Diploma in Anaesthetics) in 1942 and was awarded the FFARCS (Fellow of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons) in 1953.
Whilst at the Royal Free, Dr Gilchrist worked with Stanley Rowbotham, the pioneering anaesthetists who helped to develop plastic surgery after the First World War, and pioneered local and intravenous anaesthesia. They became life-long friends and Dr Gilchrist arranged for his memorial plaque which now hangs in the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
Keenly interested in the history of medicine, she was a member of The Hunterian Society, The Osler Club and was the first female president of The Harveian Society. She was also the honorary archivist for the Royal Free and co-founded their archive centre which is now part of the London Metropolitan Archives.
The collection contains equipment used by Dr Gilchrist throughout her career, as well as pharmaceutical packaging and sample sets, and books with notes from both Dr Gilchrist and Stanley Rowbotham. Scroll down to see some of the objects in the collection.