Due to prevalence of syphilis in the 19th and early 20th century the incidence of 'general paralysis of the insane' (GPI) was very common. Spinal lumbar puncture was a routine test for any patient in asylums considered to have GPI. Fluid extracted from spine & tested for syphilis spirochetes.Used in Victorian mental health hospital circa 1930.

Physical Description

Springfield's spinal needle is a very fine tube of chrome-plated brass (or gold?). It has a hollow, scalpel-type blade and a handle shaped like tiny doorknob with a pin sticking out of the bottom which fits into a groove on the top of the sheath handle. The fine tubular, chrome-plated steel sheath also has a scalpel-type point. The needle inside reaches exactly to the open end of the sheath. The handle has a flat, round piece surmounted by a ball, to which is attached a minute tap which only turns when the needle is out. There is a ridged hose attachment.

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