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25 Horrifying Medical Instruments From The Past…

Electric Bath

This crazy looking contraption was the precursor to the modern sun-bed circa 1900.

Pre-PET headgear

Built in 1961 by the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Instrumentation Division to study the working brain, chemists at Brookhaven National Laboratory used this device to detect small brain tumors.

Vaginal Washer

As you can probably guess by the name, this device was used to clean the inside of one’s vagina via a perforated water-spraying tube and a rotating squeegee scraper.

Bergonic chair

The Bergonic chair was used in World War I to administer electroconvulsive therapy for some shell-shocked soldiers.

Artificial kidney machine

Originally developed by Willem Kolff in the Netherlands in the late 1930s, the artificial kidney dialysis machine filtered blood impurities using a permeable cellophane membrane and was used to treat people with end-stage renal disease.


Another device designed to get into someone’s skull was this hellish looking thing. The trephine was a hand-powered drill with a cylindrical blade and was used to bore into the patient’s skull. The spike in the center started the procedure and held the blade in place.


The Ecraseur (French for “crusher”) was a device used for the removal of hemorrhoids, tumors, polyps, and cysts in the esophagus, larynx, uterus, or ovaries. The loop on the end of the instrument housed either a saw-toothed chain or a simple wire and was used to strangle and crush (hence the name) the growth, preventing hemorrhage by restricting blood supply.

Hernia Tool

After the restoration of a hernia, doctors would use this device near the affected area in order to produce scar tissue which would help seal off the hernia.

Scarificator (1910s-20s)

Scarificators were used in bloodletting. The device had spring-loaded blades which would cut into the patient’s skin, and a special rounded glass cup would then be applied over the wound to receive the blood

Electric Belt with Penis Strap

First intended to cure the fictitious disease of Neurasthenia, this belt’s aim was to in essence, shock virility back into your penis. In order for the belt to work it had to be submerged in an activating solution of sulfuric acid, vinegar and water. Then the internal batteries were sprinkled with a “special powder” i.e baking powder.

Skull saw

And yet another device designed to saw into your skull…I’m sure glad I don’t live in the Victorian age.

Smoke Enema

This odd device was used on patients who fell through icy waters in order to infuse tobacco smoke into a patient’s rectum. It was thought to help patients warm up helping them recover sooner. Nevertheless there were doubts about the credibility of tobacco enemas which led to the popular phrase “blow smoke up one’s ass.”

Circumcision Knife

Circumcision is still practiced today; nevertheless few instruments used in the process are as intimidating as this European knife from the 18th century.

Lithotome (1740s-1830s)

The lithotome was a device used to cut the bladder in order to remove stones. The shaft contained a hidden blade that was inserted into the bladder and then released using a spring handle.

Civil War Dental Screw Forceps

Pretty much any dental device is enough to make me cringe, and this device is no different. Used to tap dental roots, the dental screw forceps was used before the advent of anesthesia… in fact, now thinking of it, pretty much all of the instruments on this list for the exception of maybe 5 were used before anesthesia.

Spermatorrhea ring

Back in the Victorian era folks tended to believe that masturbation and nocturnal emissions could induce blindness, retardation and a host of other issues. Therefore, in a medical effort of prevention inventors devised contraptions that would discourage genital excitement. The Spermatorrhea Ring was one of such devises and comprised of a flexible metal band outlined by spikes.


As if straight from a Saw movie, this apparatus was devised to measure the electric potential of the retina.

Cervical Dilator

This instrument was used to dilate the cervix during labor. However, such dilators became less popular because they often caused the cervix to tear.

Bullet Extractor

Elongated bullet extractors were devises made to reach bullets embedded deeply in the patient’s body. These devices had a screw tip that was inserted in the wound and lengthened to pierce the bullet so that it could be pulled out.


Invented by Bernard Heine around 1830, this medical instrument was initially used in trepanning. The sharp spike was driven into the patient’s skull to hold the instrument in place, and then the doctor cranked the handle to turn the saw-toothed blade.

Stricture Divulsor

The Stricture Divulsor was used on male patients when their urethra became too narrow to permit proper urine flow. The instrument was inserted into the urethra via the tip of the penis. Then a screw in the handle was turned which separated the blades and dilated the urethra.

Tonsil Guillotine

To treat tonsillitis and its related complications the tonsil guillotine was developed. This instrument permitted a doctor to reach into a patient’s throat, pierce the tonsil and cut the tissue with the guillotine’s blade.

Hemorrhoid Forceps

This instrument worked by tightly grasping and crushing an external hemorrhoid to restric blood supply leaving the damaged tissue to die and wither off.

Fake Leech

You could probably infer from the name and the design of this thing that its main purpose was to draw blood. The sharp little blades would lacerate the skin while the tube would suck out the blood.


This little device was inserted into the vagina in order to amputate the cervix.

Source: List25

The Absolute BEST Reasons For Getting A Detention…

For giving in to your urges.

For dropping truth bombs.

For dusting off a classic joke.

For candidly reacting to an exam grade.

For volunteering as tribute.

For forgetting you’re not at Hogwarts.

Or that you’re not really a wizard.

For distracting others with pictures of cats.

And pugs.

For deploying a perfect “that’s what she said.”


For using the “Hammer of Justice.”

For quoting Zoolander.

For caring about craftsmanship.

For Beliebing.

For literally bible-thumping.

And other general smiting.

For not being original enough.

For #occupyingthecafeteria.

For knowing more than your teachers.

For using the term YOLO appropriately.

For using the term YOLO inappropriately.

For using the term YOLO at all.

For being Clark Kent.

For humping Troy’s head.

For ongoing nonsense.

For drinking paint.

For excessive chair squeaking. Oh, and farting in someone’s face. Twofer.

Source: Buzzfeed