Joseph Clover’s Notebooks

Joseph Clover with his chloroform apparatus
Joseph Clover with his chloroform apparatus

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 first page of Clover notes
The first page of Clover’s notes


Clover’s first lecture with Dr Williams at UCL in 1845


A table showing the timing of a pulse
A sketch on the pulse, and the use of the stethoscope

The Chloroform Song

Last week, the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre received a bound volume of Punch magazines from 1847, the year after the first use of ether. It contains several references to the new drug and several suggestions for use, as well as this song about chloroform…

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