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  #1  
Old 30-07-22, 06:52 PM
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Default Mystery Ampule

Hello,

This little glass ampule came with a WW1 soldiers personal possessions recently.

Its in a brass Thorens Gramophone needle case, presumably for its protection.

Does anyone recognise it as a known WW1 type of medicine ampule?

regards
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  #2  
Old 30-07-22, 07:00 PM
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Iodine maybe?

Nice find.
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  #3  
Old 30-07-22, 09:30 PM
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Many things at the time were legal including morphine and cocaine.
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Old 30-07-22, 09:49 PM
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I think I will bin it!!
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  #5  
Old 31-07-22, 05:41 AM
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Why not take it to your Doctor surgery or local Hospital to see if they can ID it??
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  #6  
Old 31-07-22, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke H View Post
Iodine maybe?

Nice find.
That is what it looks like , iodine was initially used in conjuction with field dressings but early in 1917 it was decided that side effects (blistering) outweighed the benefits.

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Old 31-07-22, 07:58 AM
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I believe iodine is still used in surgery today, and a few years ago when my right thumb had an unfortunate encounter with a 12" circular saw blade they gave me an iodine spray to help it along, so its pretty safe.

However this ampule may contain something else, I wondered about acid from a time detonating device or the horn of a sea mine?

Rob
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Old 31-07-22, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Miller View Post
I believe iodine is still used in surgery today, and a few years ago when my right thumb had an unfortunate encounter with a 12" circular saw blade they gave me an iodine spray to help it along, so its pretty safe.

However this ampule may contain something else, I wondered about acid from a time detonating device or the horn of a sea mine?

Rob
The "iodine" used today is completely different to the solution used in the distant past.

The WW1 era iodine reacted with the gauze field dressings and caused skin irritation and blistering.

Today you will find a "tincture of iodine" (a weak solution) in first aid kits ect and hospitals use "Povidone Iodine" , either as a solution or in a spray , for skin disinfection before and after surgery.

There is also a hand washing solution which is used by Surgeons/Scrub staff immediately before they put on gown and gloves for surgery. ( I used it for over 30 years !)

.
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Old 31-07-22, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manchesters View Post
Hello,

This little glass ampule came with a WW1 soldiers personal possessions recently.

Its in a brass Thorens Gramophone needle case, presumably for its protection.

Does anyone recognise it as a known WW1 type of medicine ampule?

regards
I've just recalled a trench excavation carried out by Andy Robertshaw of the NAM on an ancient "Finding the Fallen" prog. He was digging on the site of an RAP or similar and located some iodine ampoules just like this.
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Old 31-07-22, 10:54 AM
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I've just recalled a trench excavation carried out by Andy Robertshaw of the NAM on an ancient "Finding the Fallen" prog. He was digging on the site of an RAP or similar and located some iodine ampoules just like this.
Iodine ampoules and a thermometer.

.
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  #11  
Old 31-07-22, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Miller View Post
I believe iodine is still used in surgery today, and a few years ago when my right thumb had an unfortunate encounter with a 12" circular saw blade they gave me an iodine spray to help it along, so its pretty safe.

However this ampule may contain something else, I wondered about acid from a time detonating device or the horn of a sea mine?
Rob

I know a little bit about WWI military medicine and this is almost certainly a drug ampoule. What is in it is anyone's guess, as by 1917 or so, many stretcher bearers and probably many private soldiers would have carried morphine ampoules with them onto the battlefield.

PLEASE don't bin it!

Peter
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Old 31-07-22, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manchesters View Post
I think I will bin it!!
Simon I think the "done" thing is to dispose of out of date/unwanted medicines at a chemist.
Cheers Tony.
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  #13  
Old 31-07-22, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter monahan View Post
Rob

I know a little bit about WWI military medicine and this is almost certainly a drug ampoule. What is in it is anyone's guess, as by 1917 or so, many stretcher bearers and probably many private soldiers would have carried morphine ampoules with them onto the battlefield.

PLEASE don't bin it!

Peter
Morphine was supplied in ampoules as a clear liquid , I have seen ampoules from WW1 era in the Surgical Museum of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the "Old Operating Theatre" of St.Thomas' Hospital London. Even after over 100 years the liquid remains clear , the only dark coloured solution I have seen in ampoules from that period is iodine.

Found a mention on GWF about iodine :

Quote:
The War Office issued this instruction to the Director of Medical Services BEF on 7 March, 1916;

‘I am directed to acquaint you that a supply of ampoules or glass bulbs containing tincture of iodine is ready for despatch to the Expeditionary Force, with a view to the distribution of an ampoule to each soldier.

Each ampoule is enclosed in a metal or cardboard case with printed directions on the outside, and should be carried by the soldier in the same pocket of his jacket as the Field Dressing…’
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File Type: jpg St.Thomas' 2.jpg (88.8 KB, 23 views)
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  #14  
Old 31-07-22, 02:02 PM
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Thanks for all the replies, I really had no idea what it was or even if it was related to Army life.

Its more than probable that the soldier retained the ampule in the brass case for its protection rather than in its original cardboard box.

Checking through ebay the Thorens gramophone needle tin is collectable in its own right. Now I know what it is I wont keep it so if its of interest as a pair to anyone I am open to offers.

regards
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  #15  
Old 31-07-22, 03:58 PM
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As a boy growing up, we feared iodine because it stung like the dickens!!! Was so happy when Mercurochrome came out! Looked the same but didn't sting.

Terry

Last edited by Home Guard; 01-08-22 at 04:26 PM.
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