Wooden box containing 5 tweezers and scalpel

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Object Detail


Description
Hinged wooden box fitted to contain long, thin objects. Box contains one scalpel, two pair straight tweezers, one large and one small, and three pair bent-end tweezers, all medium size. All show signs of use. Some of the instruments were probably not part of the original box contents. Box has fitting for a pair of scissors in the lid, which are missing.
Classification
CH classification MEDICINE Medicine tweezers
CH classification MEDICINE Medicine scalpel
CH classification PACKAGES AND CONTAINERS Box wooden box
Measurements
Box - 180 x 56 x 31 mm
Media/Materials description
Box - wood, brass
Tweezers and scalpel - stainless steel.
History and use
This wooden box containing tweezers and a scalpel was owned and used by Charles Joseph Pound (b.1866 – d.1946), one of Australia’s earliest scientists to investigate veterinary and medical diseases in Queensland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

It forms part of a larger collection of instruments relating to Pound’s work in Queensland and reflects the transfer of new scientific knowledge and approaches from London to Queensland. The collection comprises an assortment of medical and veterinary implements such as surgical instruments, thermometers, syringes, needles and cannula and tubing. It also includes scales, beam balances, weight sets and a set of telescoping tubes.

Charles Joseph Pound was born in Harrow, England on 30th May 1866. He studied laboratory technology at King’s College, London and became a microscopist before going on to study vaccine preparation and protective inoculation procedures at the Pasteur Institute.

Pound first came to Australia in 1892, after receiving an invitation to set up a bacteriology laboratory at the University of Sydney. It was shortly after his arrival that Pound realised the laboratory had not yet been established and quickly managed to secure a position of practical bacteriological laboratory assistant for the New South Wales Department of Health.

In December 1893, Pound was appointed Director of the newly established Queensland Stock Institute in Brisbane – the first institute laboratory in Queensland dedicated to investigating disease of any kind in both humans and animals. In September 1894, Pound looked into Redwater Disease (Bovine Babesiosis) also known as Tick Fever in the gulf district – it was the first inoculation study into this disease in Australia. Pound found that Redwater Disease was confined to bovines and the disease was transmitted through the bite of cattle ticks. The following year, Pound trained Queensland stockowners in the technique of collecting blood from recovered bovines, defibrinating it and using this vaccine to inoculate their at-risk cattle.

At the recommendation of Pound in July 1899, the Queensland Government built new research laboratories under the new name of the Bacteriological Institute. Administration for the building was transferred to the Health Section of the Home Secretary’s Department and Pound was appointed Queensland Government Bacteriologist. During this period, Pound’s work focused on human health and he carried out unofficial laboratory diagnoses for medical practitioners. During this period, Pound was the only scientist in the country producing tuberculin and investigating leprosy. In March 1900, Pound made the first diagnosis of the bubonic plague outbreak in Brisbane. He also had a hand in ensuring a safe milk supply by securing legislation that required regular tuberculosis-testing of dairy herds.

While retaining his title as Government Bacteriologist, in 1910 Pound transferred to the newly built Stock Experiment Station at Yeerongpilly. Some of the early work of the Station included conducting research into the eradication of cattle ticks and the diseases caused by them, undertaking post mortems and animal husbandry research studies and experiments. Pound retired on 31 July 1932 at the age of sixty-six years, and the position was abolished on 27 April 1933.

Pound contributed much to the control of both veterinary and medical disease in Queensland during his thirty-nine years of service in the Queensland government, but his outstanding contribution was his protective inoculation and extension work on babesiosis which saved hundreds of thousands of cattle from tick fever. His willingness to educate the public on all manner of scientific topics through his lectures using glass lantern slides is also to his credit; and although this was sometimes considered publicity to gain kudos, it nonetheless served a useful purpose in making knowledge available to a public far less informed public than of today which ingratiated him to a wide range of people.
Registration number
H48979

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