Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Counter Iritant

Counter Iritant

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
lebenswecker
date made
19th century
Physical Description
ebony (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
steel (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 26.3 cm x 3.5 cm; 10 3/8 in x 1 3/8 in
ID Number
1991.0664.0990
accession number
1991.0664
collector/donor number
SAP 1078
catalog number
1991.0664.0990
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
subject
Pharmacy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Art
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.