DISPLAY: Ipswich Hospital Museum volunteer Elizabeth McNalty.
DISPLAY: Ipswich Hospital Museum volunteer Elizabeth McNalty. Rob Williams

Take a trip back to 1860s style medical treatment

PREGNANT women were often given ether in the early 1900s in lieu of anaesthetic.

Back then, the use of agents such as ethyl chloride and chloroform were normal in medical practise, including at the Ipswich Hospital and been for years.

The first patient was admitted to Ipswich Hospital in March, 1860, two years after tenders were called to build the facility for £1060, about $330,000 by today's standards.

But the cost ballooned out to double the original quote.

One of the original cabinets in the earliest hospital buildings still sits inside the precinct today.

The restored cabinet now holds a host of bizarre looking instruments once used by medical practitioners.

The cabinet is inside the Ipswich Hospital Museum which, with some imagination, offers a flash back in the city's history of medicine.

Today, the Ipswich Hospital Museum opens its doors, hoping to attract local history buffs who may not have had time or the opportunity to study the doctor's equipment of old or stare into the eyes of Ipswich nurses who helped the city's earliest residents.

An 1860s replica bed will also be on display alongside other relics of the past.

The Ipswich Hospital Museum is on the ground floor of the historic Jubilee Building. Enter via Court St, at the Ipswich Hospital.



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