Medical Museum: Formaldehyde Generator
November 10, 2018
by Mai Hiraoka
, Media Relations Manager
Each month, we visit Dr. Blaufox’s Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts to take a look back at the medical equipment that cleared the way for what patients encounter in doctors’ offices and operating rooms of today. Some equipment may be recognizable, while other featured inventions have since become obsolete or have had their usefulness discredited.
The picture and description appear courtesy of Dr. M. Donald Blaufox, M.D., Ph.D., from his website: www.mohma.org.
Estimated Date: 1910
Name: Dr. Geo. Leininger Formaldehyde Generator
Manufacturer: Dr. Geo. Leininger
Description: A cardboard box measuring 5” x 3 3/8” sq. contains a device with metal stand and candle resembling a small fondue dish. The dish on top of the candle contains solidified formaldehyde for the sick room. It reads: “special disinfection during prevalence of epidemics and after recovery of patient from smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, etc.”
It is unlikely that this device did anything to disinfect a room, but it probably made a lot of money for Dr. Leininger. They are common and it appears to have been used frequently.