South Australian Medical Heritage Society Inc

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Personal collection—Dr.Roy Francis

Dr. Francis has been a general practitioner in Snowtown, South Australia for 24 years (1970 1994). During this time he practiced what is now called “total patient care”. He was able to perform simple haematology  and clinical chemistry tests, use Cardiophone to send ECG results to specialists in Adelaide and perform simple surgery and obstetric procedures on his patients.

Over the period of time he collected many important items of medical heritage. They are now stored in his care. We are most grateful for his permission to photograph the relevant items

Glass cupboard exhibiting medical items from Dr.Francis’ surgery

Cardiophne: Before the fax arrived  the Cardiophone was used to transmit ECG tracings by telephone. The connection was plugged into a patient’s monitor (lower right)and the sender was attached to the telephone ear-piece (left).  a second telephone line had to be used for communication. 

 An ultra-sound  foetal stethoscope: The blue microphone was placed on the mother’s abdomen and  the volume  was adjusted by the blue knurled knob. Both mother and nurse or doctor had individual ear-pieces

A Schiotz tonometer was used to measure intraocular pressure in order to diagnose glaucoma

An ether machine used to administer general aneasthesia. It had an electric motor and there was a considerable risk of explosion because of possible sparking. It was particularly dangerous if the apparatus was placed on the floor  because of the relatively higher density of ether to air.

A stainless steel container with needles, trocars and room for two syringes

An early (1960)   pulse monitor  attached to the rt. index finger


An atomiser used to deliver an anaesthetic spray to the pharynx for laryngoscopy


Label on the spray container box



A smaller version used to spray cocaine as an anaesthetic agent.


A bone drill possibly used in mastoid surgery

A simple massage machine:  Turning the handle vibrates the  bakelite wheels


An aspirin container manufactured by the Adelaide firm of Fauldings.  The dose is indicated in grains.   (one grain = 60 milligrams}

An ointment container


Text from an almanac describing  treatments for tetanus, tonsillitis and toothache


An unusual forceps. The gap is not common.

Dr Morse’s Indian Root tablets, developed by Andrew B Moore  in the USA in 1854 and later  manufactured by William Henry Comstock and his father Edwin in New York.

They claimed that their tablets would “clean the blood” and cure all sorts of ills.

A shed advertising the Australian version on the right.


A nonspecific ointment from London and its claims


A simple centrifuge used by Dr.Francis to separate red and white cells  from blood and produce serum to be used in the Unimeter 250


A Unimeter 250 purchased by Dr.Francis in the 1970s. It was used to measure blood glucose, haemoglobin and cholesterol


A later model of the uniMeter  (300) It could determine seven more blood components such as LDH, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine and electrolytes.


Different sizes of trachaeostomy tubes used in diphtheria epidemics


An early  “stethoscope”  used to listen to foetal heartsounds. the left  end was placed on th mother’s abdomen. After the ultrasound arrived it became obsolete.


Two sets of vaginal dilators