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These devices have one or more blades at right angles to the handle.The most common form is a brass case containing 2 or 3 steel blades, often stamped with a makers name (figure 8).It is perhaps these signs in nature that led early civilizations to put it all together: bleeding must have some beneficial value!

Others are harder to find but do turn up from time to time.

These must have been made by the millions, mainly in England, but also in France, the US, and other countries.

Some are signed with the maker’s name but many are either unsigned or just have a cutlers stamp.

Virtually every known medical condition at one time or another was treated by these methods.

Bloodletting was used to treat everything from fever and madness to anemia and debility.Early civilizations may have been inspired by seeing bats remove blood from animals, hippos scratching on trees until they bled, and other animals scratching at diseased body parts for relief.


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