Dr. Joseph W. Battershall (1842-1922) was a physician and surgeon. He ran a private practice with his wife, Dr. Mary Wolfenden Battershall, from their home in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Battershall designed this inhaler to administer chloroform.
To anesthetize the patient, an absorbent material, such as cotton, was soaked with chloroform and placed inside the tubular part of the inhaler. The mask would be placed over the patient’s nose and mouth, and he would inhale chloroform vapors from within the inhaler.
Dr. Battershall applied for a patent for this inhaler in 1886. The patent was granted in 1888, and the inhaler was offered for sale by the Wm. H. Armstrong Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana.
The white rubber mask of the inhaler is in poor condition so, in order to present an image of the apparatus in the best state possible, the appearance of the mask was digitally altered.
Catalog Record: Battershall Inhaler
Access Key: ailp
Accession No.: 2002-10-08-1
Title: [Inhaler for chloroform / designed by Joseph W. Battershall.]
Author: Battershall, Joseph W., 1842-1922.
Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Battershall inhaler.
Publisher: [S.l. : s.n., 1886-1910.]
Physical Description: 1 inhaler : metal, nickel-plated-brass[?], silver[?] ; 28 x 6 x 13 cm.
Subject: Inhalers, Anesthesia.
Subject: Anesthesia, Inhalation.
Note Type: General
Notes: Title from the 1888 approved patent.
Note Type: Citation
Notes: Smith EJ. Family and community life: cordial social recognition. In: Abram RJ
ed. Send us a Lady Physician: Women Doctors in America, 1835-1920. New York:
W.W. Norton & Co., 1985:223.
Note Type: Citation
Notes: Battershall JW, inventor. Inhaler for chloroform. US patent 379,042. March 6,
Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: A cylindrical, metal (nickel-plated brass?) inhaler with mask; This
description is based from a patient’s view, i.e. looking into the mask is the
‘front’ of the inhaler; There is an adjustable inspiratory valve at the far
end of the inhaler, as well as one in the metal tubing that connects the body
of the inhaler to the mask; The body of the inhaler, including the
inspiratory valve at the end, measures approx. 15 cm; Gauze or other
absorbent material can be inserted, accessed or removed via openings at the
end inspiratory valve or at a capped opening that protrudes from the middle
of the body of the inhaler; The tubing connecting the inhaler and mask has a
45 degree downward bend and measures approx. 7 cm in length; The mask
consists of a skeletal-like support, of tarnished metal (silver?), for the
rubber oronasal-mask; The white rubber mask is in poor condition: hard,
collapsed, shrunken and cracked; There is an adjustable expiratory valve on
the upper portion of the mask.
Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. William Lyle, July 27, 2010; In order to present an image
of the apparatus in the best state possible, the photographic image of the
mask was digitally altered.
Note Type: Historical
Notes: Dr. Joseph W. Battershall was a physician and surgeon. He ran a private
practice with his wife, Dr. Mary Wolfenden Battershall, from their home in
Attleboro, Massachusetts (Smith, 1985). Dr. Battershall applied for a patent
for his inhaler in 1886. The patent was granted in 1888. The inhaler was
offered for sale by the Wm. H. Armstrong Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Note Type: Publication
Notes: Obituary: Joseph Ward Battershall, M.D. Boston Med Surg J. 1922;186(11):369.