A Piece of Tolland History: 19th Century Vaporizer

Old Tolland County Jail & Museum intern Julia Gottier explains how this antique piece of medical equipment was used.

From Intern Julia Gottier:

Medicine in the late 1800s was becoming very progressive. Pictured here is a vaporizer, meant to provide a breathable healing agent for illnesses like whooping cough and scarlet fever. The raised tray would be filled with medicine called cresolene, and the lamp was lit, allowing the substance to evaporate into the air.

Text from the original box: “Vaporization is the true system of disseminating healing and odorizing agents, through the atmosphere...Carpets, Clothing, and Bedding...are purified, the air passages...are penetrated, and the restorative vapor touches every part.”


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