Today’s Thingamajig comes from the A.M. Autrey, Sr., Collection of Medical Instruments. Here we have a glass and metal syringe and hypodermic needles, nestled comfortably in a padded, satin-lined, case. The metal may be silver.
The syringe as we know it was invented, based on the earlier development of the fine, hollow, needle, in 1853 by a French orthopedic surgeon named Charles Gabriel Pravaz (1791-1853), for treatment of aneurysms. The first use of the new device to administer anesthetic is attributed to a Scot, Dr. Alexander Wood (1817-1884), in the same year.
Early syringes had to be cleaned and reassembled one at a time, and carried a constant risk of cross-contamination and infection in the years before asepsis was well-understood. Glass syringes with interchangeable parts, which could be sterilized in large batches, were finally invented by Chance Brothers glassworks of England in 1946. The disposable, single-use, pre-sterilized, syringe and needle that we use today did not appear until 1953.
“Syringe” on Wikipedia.
Chance Brothers, a brief timeline.
History of the syringe at Discoveries in Medicine.