Catalog Record: Novocain

Access Key: aiki
Accession No.: 2010-07-14-1

Title: [Hoechst Novocain kit.]

Corporate Author: Farbwerke-Hoechst.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Lösungstiegel für Novocaintabletten.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Solution pot for Novocaine tablets.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Hoechst Novocaine kit.

Publisher: [Frankfurt : Farbwerke-Hoechst, 1913-1916?].

Physical Description: 1 medicine kit : cardboard, porcelain, glass, rubber, paper ; 5 x 15.5 x 8 cm.

Subject: Procaine.
Subject: Anesthesia, Conduction.
Subject: Anesthesia, Regional.
Subject: Anesthesia, Local.
Subject: Anesthesia, Spinal.
Subject: Beecher, Henry K. (Henry Knowles), 1904-1976.
Subject: World War I.
Subject: Deutschland (Submarine).

Note Type: General
Notes: Title from the WLM name for the item.

Note Type: General
Notes: Early possible date of manufacture based on references found reporting 'new'
medications, including the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American
Medical Association’s New and Nonofficial Remedies, 1914 … (1914). Late date
of manufacture is based on the fact that the Deutschland only made two
Merchant crossings, both in 1916.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association. New
and Nonofficial Remedies, 1914: Containing descriptions of the articles which
have been accepted by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American
Medical Association, prior to January 1, 1914. Chicago: American Medical
Association. 1914:27.

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: One blue cardboard box, with much of the manufacturer’s markings obscured by
a typed note applied to lid; Manufacturers markings not obscured:
"Lösungstiegel für Novocaintabletten (D.R.G.M. No."; Typed note: "Novocain
which came over on the Deutschland, presented to Dr. Beecher by Dr. A.W.
Reggio, November, 1939."; Adhesive tape on box where box is worn or damaged;
Handwritten on the inside lid of box: "B in 10cc = 1% [column space] C in 5cc
= 1% [new line] B ' ' 40 ' ' = ¼% [column space] C in 10 = ½% [new line]
A in 12 1/2cc = 1% [column space] Bottle = 30cc in 5cc graduation [new line]
A ' ' 25cc = ½% [new line] A ' ' 50 ' ' = ¼%"; In box: broken porcelain
crucible, or melting cup and seven amber glass vials, with rubber stoppers,
for Novocain-Suprarenin tablets; Three of the vials are marked "10
Novocain-Suprarenin [new line] Tablets 'A' [new line] for Local Anesthesia
…"; Two vials are labeled "… B …"; Two vials are labeled "20
Novocain-Suprarenin Tablets 'C' for Spinal Anesthesia …"; Wrapping on the
vials also includes manufacturer’s information: "U.S. Patent No. 812,554
Issued February 13, 1916 [new line] Farbwerke-Hoechst Company [new line]
Pharmaceutical Department [new line] 111-113 Hudson Street, New York [new
line] Importation into Great Britain, British Colonies and Dominions
Prohibited"; Bottom portion of box with cardboard ‘dividers’ to hold contents
in place.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. William Lyle, July 13, 2010; The porcelain cup original
to this kit is broken, so a cup from a different kit was substituted for the

Note Type: Historical
Notes: Procaine was first made in 1905 by Alfred Einhorn (1857-1917), a born German
chemist. It was Einhorn who named it "Novocain." Later that same year
Heinrich Braun (1862-1934), a German surgeon with a strong interest in
anesthesia, became the first to use it in patient care. Because procaine was
effective, nonaddictive and generally safer than cocaine, it became a very
popular local anesthetic. However, as it could cause severe allergic
reactions, procaine was not perfect, and was quickly replaced with Lidocaine
when it was introduced in 1943.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: This particular Novocain Kit, manufactured by the German company
Farbwerke-Hoechst, was shipped to the United States in 1916 on the merchant
submarine The Deutschland. This was before the United States entered World
War I. During the time of its crossing, the Royal Navy had effectively formed
a blockade to cut off German supply lines. The unarmed Deutschland was built
to evade the blockade and exchange cargo with the United States. Carrying
valubles such as dyes, medicinals and gemstones to the U.S, it made only two
Merchant crossings, both in 1916. In the early part of 1917 The Deutschland
was converted into a war vessel.

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