Counter Iritant

Description (Brief)
This long ebony and ivory instrument is known as The Lebenswecker or "Awakener of Life". The cap to the instrument protects about thirty steel needles which punctured the skin causing inflammation or irritation. Afterwards oil would be applied to the wounds. Counter irritation is an old technique but was popularized in the nineteenth century by the Prussian Carl Baunscheidt and his Lebenswecker.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
19th century
Physical Description
ebony (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 26.3 cm x 3.5 cm; 10 3/8 in x 1 3/8 in
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 1078
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Related Publication
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection

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