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Glass bead sterilizer

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Glass bead sterilizer, of a type in widespread use in private clinics and teaching establishments when needles were reused over and over again. Disposable needles were not in routine use before the 1980s. Students were instructed to wipe needles before inserting them in the beads, to avoid pieces of human tissue baking on to the needle shafts. In busy multi-bed, multi-student clinics, there was no guarantee that each needle stayed in the sterilizer for any minimum duration. The two longer needles on the right hand side have a double layer of silver filigree winding on the handles, known as ‘coiled coil’. These handles provided easier grip for really strong manual stimulation. Image provided by Adrian White

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