999.3.45: Perforator, Cranial, 1911-1960

Additional Images

999.3.45: Perforator, Cranial.
Image No. 3830 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

SMELLIE's perforator, American pattern, with sharp external cutting edge, disjointing arms and ring handles. Manufacturer’s trademark [serpent entwined around a staff with crown (Rod of Asclepius)] and supplier's name 'THE J. F. HARTZ Co.' stamped into the surface.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 999.3.45
Collection: Gynaecology/Obstetrics/Contraception
Date: 1911-1960

Object Dimensions

  • Length: 27.2 cm
  • Width: 6.3 cm

Object Parts

Object Materials

  • chrome plate,
  • steel

Acquisition Detail

  • Manufacturer: Jetter & Scheerer
  • Supplier: Hartz Co. Ltd., J. F.
  • Patent Date: 1892-08-05
  • Owner: Dr. Brabizon J. Hallowes
  • History of Use: Obstetrical instrument used to perforate the foetal skull prior to collapsing it in case of arrested labour where the mother’s life was at risk or when the fetus had died. William Smellie (1697 - 1763), British obstetrician, designed this perforator to work like a scissors. The operator was required to use both hands to open the blades and cut the tissue. The blades have a shoulder, which prevents the device from being introduced to too great a depth. Used by Dr. Brabizon Hallowes [1885-1961] born in Australia he relocated to Vancouver in 1936 where he opened a general practice. In later life he moved to Saturna Island.